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The Four-Day Work Week

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  • The Four-Day Work Week

    Seventy U.K. companies are testing a four-day work week in a six-month pilot program. The 3,000-plus employees will receive 100% of their pay. What do you think about this concept? Could it work in storage?
    Amy Campbell
    Inside Self-Storage
    [email protected]


  • #2
    I think it's a fantastic idea. I've broached the subject at other storage facilities I've managed, actually. I think any office that has 2 workers (1 full time and one to cover the days off is enough) can easily make it work.


    • #3
      it would not work here, it would not as we are only open from 9 to 5. and closed Sunday. But if it did, I would love to do that.


      • #4
        What is a manager in general responsible for that a service/sales associate is not? How long does it take to complete that each week?

        We are such a customer facing business that we deal with a lot of walk-ins, problems, inquiries throughout the day and I think that necessitates having someone at the counter when the office is open and I think an office needs to be open most places at least 6 days a week. Does this have to be a manager? No. You need someone who can reserve, rent, take payments, and answer the phone. Basically, hold down the fort.

        The manager might be a phone call away for an emergency, but in general, most actual manager stuff does not regularly take a full 40 hr work week at least for 1 facility (I don't have experience with multiple facilities so I can't comment on that).

        We also have facilities that operate entirely remote.

        It's possible. Is it the best arrangement for everyone? Depends. Some might prefer half days due to childcare, school, or other commitments. Some might prefer other flexible arrangements. Depends on your workforce and your business. We have 3 employees, including myself and we rotate throughout the week in half days. One has another job, one is retired and likes to exercise/spend time with his family, and I like to volunteer and I take care of my special needs sister.

        It's easier to take vacation, cover in the event of emergency or just swap shifts if there are meetings, doctors appointments, etc.


        • #5
          Virtually all 1st world country populations are decreasing. Both Workers in the Baby Boom are retiring and the next generations had fewer kids. Fewer hours and Higher Pay won't correct the situation. Either need to look at increasing the Birth rate through incentives (daycare, housing, education, job/family alignment, stipends) or bring in more immigration.

          China is in real trouble. Due to the 1 baby per household rule, they basically cut their future workforce in half. That smaller workforce is working now, while their parents are retiring. During that time frame they had more boys than girls. So their Women of pregnancy age are down. Also most of their workers came from the farms, where societies tend to have more children. As they moved to the factory jobs in the city and became more educated they have less kids.

          China's average pay has increased 5 fold in the last 30 years and they are no longer a low cost producer. No matter what hour reduction they might do, or pay increase, they will not get more workers. This is the same for virtually all 1st world countries.

          Basically Automate.

          Find a location that uses the Robo attendant and put a presentation on that. Would be interested to see in action.


          • #6
            From the linked article:

            During the program, workers receive 100% of their pay for working only 80% of their usual week, in exchange for promising to maintain 100% of their productivity.
            So I guess that means if they were working five 8-hour days before they are now either 1. working four 10 hours days or 2. continuing to work five 8-hour days but increasing their productivity by 25%


            • #7
              It can work - we currently work 4 - 10 hour shifts (8am - 6pm). When the company made the shift several years ago (the office used to be open 6 1/2 days a week), they eliminated the office being open on Sunday and moved to a 6 day work week. The managers work 4 - 10 hour days and the assistant manager works 2 - 10 hour days. The managers are to work the last two and first two days of the month. They did not change the number of vacation days at that time, so we still get 10 days off a year, when it should really only be 8 days (probably should be vacation hours, instead of vacation days).

              This type of arrangement can benefit the company and employee. It can reduce some of the fixed costs (water, electricity, etc.) at the workplace and reduce commute costs and time for the employee. It also provides the employee an 'extra' day to make appointments or whatever, our managers usually string all the days off together (3 days off) or with a holiday (4 days off).

              The 10 hour day can be long and it does not provide much time after work to run errands, etc. Having worked the 5 - 8 and 4 -10, my preference is the 4 - 10.


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