Growth

Could a four day week help your business thrive?

Could a four day week help your business thrive? 5231 3487 emily
The “overwork epidemic” is a serious problem world-wide. In Japan, there’s even a word for it; to die by karōshi is to suffer a heart attack or stroke brought on by unrelenting overtime and occupational stress. In addition to the negative impact on health and well-being, working too much is bad for productivity. According to a recent study, employees who put in more than 50 hours a week – as nearly half of US workers do – show a sharp decline in output right around the 50 hour mark. Read on to discover why some business owners are embracing a four hour work week – and decide whether a less-is-more approach is right for you. The benefits of balance A New Zealand firm found that productivity significantly improved when a four day work week was implemented; remarkably, 78% of employees reported the change helped them better manage their work-life balance. In addition to reduced stress, improved mental health, and greater work satisfaction, one less day in the office each week can also help nurture:
  • greater focus, energy, and commitment to the job
  • a sense of empowerment at work
  • better overall performance and
  • increased loyalty and retention.
Environmental considerations For business owners concerned about their environmental impact, moving to a shorter work week can be a win-win. You’ll reduce your company’s carbon footprint by decreasing heat, air conditioning, electricity, and water use three days a week – and enjoy the associated cost savings. Both you and your employees will also benefit from reduced fuel costs (not to mention the time you’ll save commuting). Consider the cons Before you decide to make the switch to a four day work week, keep in the mind there may be a few downsides for your business. Although some customers will appreciate a business that keeps longer hours and shorter days, some may feel inconvenienced and take their business elsewhere. You can make the adjustment easier for your customers by giving them plenty of advance notice. When it comes to your employees, some may find it challenging to find childcare arrangements for a shorter work week, defeating your best intentions to create greater work-life balance and a flexible work culture. In the age of mobile devices and 24/7 connectivity, ensuring you and your employees make the most of your extra day off by unplugging can also be tricky. It’s recommended you set a policy around online work communications when the office is closed – otherwise, an additional day off work can easily become a remote work day for you and your staff. Final thoughts If you decide a four day work week would be beneficial for your business, take care to involve your employees in the planning process. Workers involved in the New Zealand experiment came up with a number of valuable initiatives that increased efficiency, such as automating tedious manual processes and taking steps to decrease non-work-related time spent online. When Germany officially moved to a four day work week during the 2008 recession, the impact was overwhelmingly positive – essentially saving the national economy from sliding into a depression. If that’s not reason enough to consider implementing a four day work week, check out this infographic for more persuasive data, as well as tips for working smarter if you decide to make the switch. Quantum Advisory is a business accounting and advisory firm that empowers family businesses to step up, scale up and sell up. Visit www.qagroup.com.au or call 1300 700 711 and start the journey.

3 Mistakes That Strangle Growing Businesses

3 Mistakes That Strangle Growing Businesses 1000 667 emily
Businesses want to grow and help a larger audience, but too many make mistakes that cripple their growth. Even worse, they keep repeating them! Don’t do the same; avoid the blunders outlined below. Hiring Toxic Personalities Businesses hire more staff as they grow. But if they expand too quickly, they will feel pressure to fill positions on their team, even if the job candidates have a few personality flaws. While some people change, others don’t, and a few toxic personalities will poison your company culture. This is why controlling growth is so important. Though it is hard to predict, you can create a game plan when you exceed your projections. Creating a team of healthy personalities is another priority. If you don’t, toxic employees will look for coworkers with similar values. If they can’t find them, they will try to hire them! But what personalities should your company avoid? There are many, but micromanagers are one of the most common. Instead of letting their coworkers do their jobs, they bug them over minor details, sabotaging team goals. Managers do manipulate emotions as part of their job, but some abuse this power. They will try to ruin people with gossip, or tell bosses what they want to hear, even when they know it is terrible advice. Instead, always look for team members that value their coworkers and employer, and have enough emotional maturity to find and fix their own weaknesses. They will become better team members over time, and will face problems even when it makes them feel uncomfortable. Changing Your Product Businesses always want to find new markets, and while they could woo customers in more places, creating new products is another way to reach a larger audience. Bringing a new product to market is an investment new businesses should consider, as long as they know the risks. Instead of creating a new product from scratch, some businesses tweak their old ones. While this can work, change isn’t always an improvement. Testing your product with consumers will help mitigate risk, but tastes shift quickly; fads don’t stay popular forever. Customers often develop an emotional connection to their preferred brands. Experimenting might feel like a betrayal of their trust, and it is almost impossible to win back a customer’s loyalty. Growing businesses don’t always have enough resources to create new products, and focusing on your successes might be your best strategy. You can even ask for customer feedback while you build capital. Misinterpreting The Market Demand shifts randomly. People don’t always know what they want, and why, and products soar and plummet in popularity for reasons no business can predict. Sadly, too many companies overestimate their brilliance, and pay for their arrogance when their predictions and investments fail. Understanding your niche will help you create reliable strategies. Infrastructure helps; liquidating assets quickly is better than storing them indefinitely. The more time you spend learning the intricacies of your niche, the more money you will save when a strategy fails. Keep in mind, too, that predictions fail both ways. Some companies don’t release products that would become hits, while others spend millions advertising obvious failures. Every miscalculation is an opportunity; learn and take advantage! For example, use a failed product launch to discover more about your core audience. If your business sells great products and services, it will grow if you get out of the way. Every business should ponder the blunders outlined in their article; their customers’ happiness could depend on it. Quantum Advisory is a business accounting and advisory firm that empowers family businesses to step up, scale up and sell up. Visit www.qagroup.com.au or call 1300 700 711 and start the journey.