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  • Writer's pictureYvonne Root

Four-Day Work Week Part 2

In the first part of this essay, the discussion centered around the 5-day workweek, why we use it, and the possibility of changing the “magic” number.

Businesses Use a 4-Day Workweek

Some of the ways construction companies and others are moving to the 4-day workweek are:

  • 4/10s

  • Job sharing

  • Reduced hours at the same pay

  • Variable shifts

  • Staggering of days off

One article, “A four-day workweek doesn’t mean less work. Here’s how to do it,” mentions several business owners who’ve had success with the 4-day workweek model.

This business (an excavation and utility contractor) located in Maui, Hawaii, uses a 4-day workweek and has since 2016 after being started in 2011. The owner, Kimo Clark, says, “I let customers know I’m available to them 40 hours per week. We’re just not going to come to the job site on Friday. Once they saw how much productivity we were getting, it made sense to them too.”

In this article, “The Argument for a Four Day Remodeling Work Week,” the author mentions several contractors who offer shortened work weeks to their employees.

One of the most compelling stories of a shortened workweek comes from DiamondBack Covers, a truck bed covers and accessories manufacturer. Check out this article and pay close attention to the section titled, “Where employees love to work.” In another article about this same business, Diamondback’s CEO, Ben Eltz, said this about a 40-hour week, “very rarely does a person say, ‘I got my work done—now I’m going to go see how else I can help.’ It’s that teamwork idea of, everyone’s shooting for that common goal of ‘Let’s make this work.’”

What it Takes

Moving to a 4-day workweek isn’t as simple as closing shop one extra day a week. It takes thought, preparation, and determination.

It makes leaders more thoughtful as they’re forced to create a more accurate and disciplined schedule. And it makes companies more sustainable because they’re constrained to:

  • Cancel unnecessary meetings

  • Reduce distractions

  • Eliminate inefficiencies

  • Require high-quality focus

  • Insist on internal collaboration

Some other things that come up when discussing moving to a 4-day week:

  • Material suppliers and service providers need to be made aware of the schedule

  • Inspectors need to be notified

  • Employees need to understand the importance of making medical and other appointments on their “extra” day off

  • Recruitment ads need to include the added benefit of a 4-day work week

  • The workday must be redesigned to become more focused and effective

  • Clients need to be convinced to go on this journey with you

Benefits Construction Businesses Can Achieve

Those not in favor of a 4-day workweek often mention that the only ones benefiting from a shortened workweek are white-collar workers. At first glance, that appears to be true. I was among those who thought that the blue-collar folks, people down in the dirt, getting their hands grimy, using their muscles, might not have a way to get to the 4-day-a-week status.

Then, while doing research concerning inflation and financial flexibility the idea of a 4-day work week kept popping up. After researching the possibilities, perks, and privileges associated with a 4-day work week within the construction industry, I’ve pivoted somewhat in my thinking. I believe there are many reasons to give the idea a try.

Some of the benefits are:

  • Gas budget reduced due to commuting four rather than five days a week

  • Set up, tear down, and clean up budget reduced

  • Attract new employees

  • Retain good team members

  • Lower recruitment expense

  • Enjoy fewer interruptions to the workday due to personal appointments

  • Maintain more significant commitment and empowerment of employees

There may be other benefits I haven’t seen, which will become apparent only through giving the concept a fair trial. One thing I think is essential at this time is to be an early adopter of the idea to benefit from offering a 4-day workweek to the changing demographic of construction workers.

Reflection: How would you begin preparing your employees to try a 6-month experiment in a 4-day workweek? What would you tell your new clients as you onboarded them concerning your 4-day-a-week status? How would you change your bids in the future?

Construction Contractors look to The Profit Constructors to provide advocacy in dealing with:

  • Clients and customers

  • Employees and subcontractors

  • Vendors and service providers

  • Governmental entities

Working with The Profit Constructors gives Construction Contractors the means to organize their operations in ways that help them:

  • Remain informed

  • Avoid hassles

  • Reduce risks

  • Be future-ready

Ready for action? Or want to know more? Get in touch today to schedule a complimentary discovery call. 866-629-7735


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