Be more productive. Achieve a better work-life balance. The four day work week really works for CEOs and yes, it’s possible.
Imagine the feeling of a long weekend. Now, imagine you had that feeling every single week throughout the year. There has been a lot of chat around the idea of a 4 day work week, especially recently with the appointment of Finland’s new Prime Minister, Sanna Marrin, who, before becoming PM, showed her support for this shift. By the looks of things, it could be the not-so-distant future of work, even for CEOs.
What are the benefits of a 4 day work week for CEOs?
The benefits a 4 day work week can bring your business aside (like retained talent and a more productive team), let’s talk about what a 4 day work week can do for you, the founder.
A 4 day work week can make you happier
We’re all striving for work-life balance. For CEO’s—and anyone, really—it’s our Everest (read: bloody hard.) However, with a 4 day work week, it doesn’t have to be. Think of it this way, when you switch to a 4 day work week, you jump from 28.5% of your week out-of-office to 42.8%—that’s huge. According to a study by Henley Business School, 77% said a four-day week improved their quality of life. With regular time off, you can focus on your wellbeing, avoid burnout, spend consistent, quality time with your friends and family, and maybe even pick up a hobby again (remember those?)
A 4 day work week can increase your productivity
Why is it, that when you have a tight deadline, you’re able to squeeze more work into your day? Something happens to our brains when there’s a sense of urgency and we sharpen our focus to just get sh*t done! Across the board, if you and your team have less time on a weekly basis to complete everything that needs to be completed, there will be less procrastination, less pointless meetings and more productive work. In Summer 2019, Microsoft Japan tested the 4 day work week on their team and productivity jumped by 40%—wowza.
A 4 day work week means real time off
Okay, admit it—how many of you CEOs have responded to emails on holiday? The truth is, it’s hard for business owners, founders and CEOs to switch off when their team is still in the office. Someone either needs you to answer a quick question (x12) or there’s that little voice in the back of your head that says ‘what if?’ With a 4 day work week, everyone is out-of-office, meaning you can fully relax during your time off.
So, how can a CEO switch to a 4 day work week?
A study showed that CEOs work, on average, around 62.5 hours a week, which, split across 4 days would mean brain-melting 15-hour shifts on a daily basis. Let’s not go there. Instead, there are a few options you could take…
- Hire an executive or personal assistant
- Run your business at a slower pace
- Hire more people in your senior team to share elements of your role
- Restructure the efficiencies of your business
- Train your current support team to be even more efficient
- Outsource your tasks to a virtual assistant
How a virtual assistant can help a CEO to switch to a 4 day work week
No matter which route you decide to take, there’s a virtual assistant for that, more specifically, an ibLE expert. We’re a team of predominantly ex-PAs and support staff, which means we’re highly efficient and experienced in a variety of different industries. Here’s how we can help you to master the 4 day work week…
Hire an executive or personal assistant
How a virtual assistant can help: Recruitment is a process, a time-consuming one at that. An ibLE expert can help you to find the perfect candidate through the entire recruitment drive, from writing the job description (they know the role really well) to sifting through CVs and arranging interviews. In the meantime, you can count on your virtual assistant to get the ball rolling and manage the workload before you meet your new PA. If you’d like specialist help with finding a PA or support team, you could also speak with our friends at BOWER Talent.
Run your business at a slower pace
Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? Even in business, slow can be a good thing (after all, you’re still moving.) The tricky part is winding down from a hare level to at least a tortoise with some oomph. Introducing a 4 day work week to an entire team is a massive shift in how your business works and there a lot of tasks and processes to nail down. But don’t worry, a virtual assistant can work with you and your team to prepare your business for the shift, so it’s plain-sailing from the word ‘go’.
Hire more senior people in your team to share elements of your role
Again, a virtual assistant can help you here during the recruitment process—but there’s more to it than that. They can also help you to determine the areas of the role you’d delegate to your new team members and support them when they first start working with your business to ensure they receive the best onboarding possible, even when you’re not in the office.
Restructure the efficiencies of your business
How efficient is your business? Are there outdated processes? Could automation help to save time? All of these questions need answers and all of these answers need research. A virtual assistant can conduct interviews, investigate new tools, and design processes to prepare you, your team and your business for the 4 day work week.
Train your current support team to be even more efficient
An efficient support team makes an efficient business. Whether it’s an entire platoon of assistants and ops managers, or simply your own PA, investing in their training and development is only going to make things easier when you move over to the 4 day work week. Where does a virtual assistant come in? They can organise your team’s diaries to make time for their training and pick up any of their day-to-day tasks so your business never misses a beat. PS: BOWER Talent also offer game-changing training and workshops for support teams.
Outsource your tasks to a virtual assistant
If your business is not in the position to hire more people, a virtual assistant is the answer. With all of our ibLE experts, you only pay for the time you need, without the commitment of hiring someone new. A virtual assistant can take care of all the tasks like inbox management, travel, finance, admin and meeting preparation, so you can focus on what only you can do. On average, they can save you around 2-3 hours a day, making the dream of the 4 day work week a lot more possible.