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Why your Allied Health organisation should try the 4-day work week (and how we do it)
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
Since COVID-19 turned the working world upside down, there’s been a lot of talk around how to get people back into offices. What will it take?
Or maybe it’s what we at Medijobs Australia have been doing for over 15 years: the 4-day work week.
BENEFITS OF A 4-DAY WORK WEEK FOR STAFF
Where to start! It’s the dream, right? A mandated extra day off per week to do as you please offers endless benefits, including:
- Your life runs better. Having a whole day to dedicate to life admin means you’re way more organized than if you were trying to squeeze your to-do list into your lunch break, after work time and weekends.
- Your weekends are yours. With all the pesky things like grocery shopping and appointments taken care of during the week, the weekend is free for socializing and relaxing. It feels deliciously slow, rather than too short.
- Your health improves. There’s something about having that extra day to yourself, away from work and the office that improves your overall mindset and offers time to focus on mental health. Not to mention the fact that you have another day to attend, say, a yoga class or visit the gym in off-peak hours. So much self-care!
BENEFITS OF 4-DAY WORK WEEK FOR EMPLOYERS
As an employer, it would be easy to think that you’re losing out by cutting down hours, but actually, it’s the opposite. The benefits of offering your staff a 4-day work week include:
- You’ll be more competitive. It’s a candidate’s market out there at the moment. The more perks and incentives you can offer, the more likely you are to recruit the very best talent.
- You’ll up your staff retention. Work life balance is the second top reason people in Australia leave their jobs (after poor management). Give people what they want and need, or else they’ll look for it elsewhere.
- Productivity might increase. Parkinson’s Law states that, “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. Give a project less time, and it will take less time. More work can be done in fewer hours.
- Happier workers. The mental health of workers in the Allied Health space needs to be a priority for employers right now, since COVID-related burnout is common. Giving your team time to attend to personal matters and switch off from work is a great way to support them.
HOW MEDIJOBS DOES THE 4-DAY WORK WEEK
It’s important not to just launch into a reduced work week without first establishing a game plan and boundaries.
At Medijobs, we have a couple of provisos that help us make our 4-day arrangement run smoothly:
- Each team member takes their day off on a different day to their work buddy
- We leave our work phones behind with our work “buddy” and vice versa so clients can still get in touch
- We do a handover before a day off
- When we leave the office, we leave work behind. A day off should be just that.
WHAT WE DO WITH OUR DAY OFF
At Medijobs Australia, we love to use our weekday off for personal admin: groceries, personal ‘fun-shopping’, health and wellness appointments, visiting family and friends, going to the gym, cooking up a massive feast or meal planning for the week, organising holidays, banking and, of course, laundry. There’s always laundry.
But living in Noosa, there’s also always the chance for a hike, a surf, SUP or long weekday lunch. How decadent!
Some of us have also been known to have a ‘doona day’, we lie around reading a book all day.
It’s a day to play.
WHAT ABOUT PAY?
You’re probably wondering how we handle the issue of pay. Well, at Medijobs, our team gets paid a 5-day wage for 4 days of work. This may sound counter-intuitive but we’ve found that our team’s productivity is equal to or higher than those who work 5 days. Other companies like Atlassian have also trialled this format and found the same.
Why? Because when we’re at work, we make it count. We’re switched on and motivated. We’re rested and organized.
If you’re an employer and you’d like to talk to us more about our experience of the 4-day work week, or about what job-seekers are saying about a shortened work week as a perk, give us a call: 1300 905 373.
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