Compressed Work Week Definition, Importance, Advantages, Disadvantages, Example & Overview

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Definition: Compressed Work Week

Compressed work week is a concept wherein an employee can do more work in lesser days per week & compress the work in that time. As the name suggests compressed work week defines how the work hours can be adjusted such that the number of working days get reduced for an employee. A compressed work week is a work schedule that lets an employee to work a required 40 work hours (8 hours* 5 days), but in lesser no of days. Typically compressed Work Weeks are of 10 hours for 4 days and 12 hours 3 days. The work hours and days are decided by negotiation between the employer and the employee.

Importance of Compressed Work Week

Work life balance is one of the most common buzzwords heard now a days. Balancing family and work requirements become an arduous job. Compressed week concept comes as a rescue to this problem to ensure quality of work life. Through this concept, a person gets a privilege to have a longer weekend. This helps him to cater to the needs of the family. Can have medical appointments scheduled in that time, also can give some time to personal care. If required can allot some time to extra classes if interested in pursuing some extra courses. You can always have more flexibility in managing your life. Compressed work week is also a way to engage employees. When employees get a long weekend, when they come back to work, they come back with more energy and spirit to do work, these in return increases employee involvement in an organization. This also is a way of motivating employees as they get more motivation to accomplish their duties as they feel obliged to their employers for considering their requirements and taking care of their concerns. Also, compressed work week leads to lesser number of people leaving the organizations hence which ultimately leads to less attrition rates, benefiting the organizations with retention problems. Factors like employee willingness, client approval, proper management etc. influence decision of implementing a compressed work week schedule.

Compressed Work Week

Advantages of Compressed Work Week

Certain advantages of a compressed work week for employees as well as employers are as follows:

For employees:

1. More time for relaxation.

2. Three days off a week and still preserve a full time employment.

3. Extended work hours mean travelling beyond usual office hour traffic, thereby saving time.

4. Saving fuel consumption.

5. More time for personal and family life.

For employers:

1. Regularly scheduled.

2. Easier to coordinate with coworkers and communicate with clients.

3. Easier communication as opposed to work-from-home on online work options.

4. Performance management and supervision is same as other regular employees.

5. Helps in attracting and retaining the best talents.

6. Effective communication with clients in different time zones within office hours.

Disadvantages of Compressed Work Week

There are certain drawbacks of compressed work week for both the employers as well as employees. Some disadvantages are:

For employees:

1. The long work hours can take a toll on mental and physical health.

2. The work days can be extremely stressful.

3. Can cause fatigue.

4. Child or elderly care can be challenging in a compressed work schedule.

5. Lack of personal or family time on workdays.

For employers:

1. Long work hours can lead to mental and physical fatigue which in turn can create stress leading to burnout.

2. Fatigue can result into lower productivity.

3. May not match the client schedule.

4. Ineffective internal communication due to mismatching schedules.

Example of Compressed Work Week

For example, an employee used to work earlier daily for 5 days from morning 9 to evening 5 or 6. This was a goof schedule for him, but he was unable to take care of few things which could be done only in the weekdays and that too in the morning hours. His wife was also working and both were unable to take optimum care of their children as well as their health. What they decided then was to schedule the days such that, the one day extra off they get is either Friday or Monday so that the weekend also gets long and either one of them is present in the house for the whole day for two more days than earlier. They decided for a compressed week work schedule. Due to this they could handle their medical check -ups on Mondays or Fridays and also were able to regulate the lives of their children well enough.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Compressed Work Week along with its overview.

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