As we probably all observed, during the conventional and almost stereotypical 5-day week, most workers’ productivity gradually degrade as they move closer to the weekend, this instead of “laziness” sign may actually signal that the format we know for decades is a bit outdated. Just over hindered years ago, a New England mill instituted what’s called the five-day work-week to accommodate Jewish and Christian day of rest observances. Since then masses followed this pattern which exists even today but as we all see it is becoming inefficient.

What’s observed is that employees rub out of steam working in average 8 or often more hours a day for five days straight where their motivation as well as performance gradually decline across the week. We are simply conditioned to work hard at the beginning of the week but may lose focus when weekend approaches.

On top of that there is this unspoken problem, an elephant in the room – thanks to advanced technology , the classical 9-5 workday is simply an illusion. We’d like to think that it still exists, but simply – it does not. We are constantly checking our mailboxes, often replying to quick emails, reading them, thinking about them, all that after we officially finished working for a day, it is worth mentioning that this extra effort goes often unnoticed by employers or go unregulated by employees and these what seems simple, quick tasks, repeated on daily basis, even during weekends can add-up to significant time overspent during let say a year.

If not now, when it will be the best time to actually get realistic on how people should work in the 21st century. I think there are many factors involved but we should really focus on improving our productivity skills as well as our well-being.

There was an experiment of 4-day work week, where instead of 8 hours per day, people worked 10 hours straight each day to have 3 day long weekend. At first the idea sounds appealing to many of us, as we see that as more time available to us, but research only proved that human body is not build in order to talk to people, staring at screens or even operating machinery for 10 hours at the time. Further, workplace engagement is already a massive challenge when working in our widely accepted eight hours a day schedule.

This type of condensed work schedules are common in health services, manufacturing as well as retail, but professional service employers are also giving it a try. Sadly this simply does not work in practice. Clients and colleagues demand quick responses, so we try to accommodate to that working often 5 or more days per week.

We all seems to forget one thing when it comes to workers, every person is unique in their own way, everyone comes with different motivations, values, goals, work from home arrangements, etc. You simply cannot structure an organisation based on some “default” system but what you can do is to listen and have your eyes wide open, see what works for every individual in your group and create a flexible plan which will improve mental health for that person, increasing their overall productivity and efficiently meaning they will not only be happy working, but they will have a work-life balance which will work in their favour. I strongly believe that this is possible to achieve but it needs open dialogue and problem solving skills to begin with. Everyone has strengths as well as weaknesses, the target is to minimise the latter and use the strengths as tools for work.

In my humble opinion I can see 5-day work-week becoming a relict of modern era.
What do you think? Are we all shifting to a new way of working?
Please feel free to let me know in the comments section below

All the best,


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