The HR Leadership Series: The Four-Day Week and Productivity

Lizzie Buxton

Written By AdviserPlus

10th January 2019

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Whether it’s to gain a better work/life balance, cut the commute or just a dislike of office life – there are many reasons why the modern worker likes the idea of flexible working. Thanks to technology it’s now easier than ever to actually offer this to employees in a way that can be effectively managed.

Yet, while technology presents the opportunity for flexible working, many businesses are still wrestling with how to do this properly – and ideas such as the four-day working week are being floated as possible changes by the likes of the TUC.

In the second of our HR Leadership Series of videos, AdviserPlus CEO Nick Bradley and Lancaster University academic Dr Anthony Hesketh discuss the issue of productivity – the prism through which flexible working ideas could and should be viewed.

In the video, Nick talks about changing the way we look at the working day so that we focus on outcomes and not the number of hours worked.

He says: “Personally, what I’ve seen is that the paradigm has to shift to a more results-based focus.”

Dr Hesketh – an expert in HR matters – points out that there have been many changes to how we see the world of work, with a transition from the ‘fixed meal deal’ of a nine-to-five job-for-life to a more ‘a la carte’ model. Indeed, he noted that the average 32-year-old has now worked for nine separate organisations.

Dr Hesketh noted that some of the structural changes to the economy also lend themselves to the different ways of working favoured by modern workers, adding: “We have moved significantly over the last 25/30 years to a service-based economy, which lends itself to flexibility.”

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