4 Day Workweek: Pros and Cons

One year ago a company from New Zealand came with interesting experiment: Employees were working only 4 days in a week, 32 hours instead of 40 hours a week and they were paid the usual salary. According to the numbers from this study, the employees felt less stressed and their work-life balance improved. In addition, the job performance wasn’t affected by those missing hours, on the contrary it slightly improved. Interesting, isn’t it? Many companies are trying to attract new employees and this is one of the advantages they can offer so let’s look at pros and cons of 4 day workweek.

The fact that you work only 4 days a week doesn’t always mean that you work only 32 hours a week. In some countries the employees can choose between 5 days with 8 hours at work or only 4 days but with 10 hours at work. This system works mostly in the United States but in some European countries the workweek is a bit shorter. For example, in the Netherlands most of the people work only 29 hours a week, in Denmark and Norway the workweek has approx. 33 hours and in Ireland it’s 34 hours. In these countries the 4 day workweek is totally possible.

pros

Now let’s talk about the advantages of 4 day workweek. According to not only the New Zealand experiment but also to some other studies, the productivity during the working hours increase to compensate the missing day. Employees use their time much more effectively by spending less time on inefficient tasks or time wasters like social media. With less stress and higher work-life balance the satisfaction of employees grows, their motivation and creativity increases and they engage better at their work. Also because of the focus on collective goals and the emphasis on efficiency the cooperation in a team needs to be better and it can bring the whole team closer together.

CONS

What about the difficulties of 4 day week? The obvious risk for employers is, that workers won’t be able to fulfill their work tasks in shorter time and it will become very costly for the whole company. It can be also very stressful for employees to manage to fit 5 day work into 4 days. Also there are some industries which require a 24/7 presence and it is simply impossible for them to put 4 day week in practice. Another fact is, that majority of other people have to work 5 days a week and if you don’t have kids or family, the 5th day can be pretty lonely for you. That can also increase your guilt, because everyone else is actually working. Emails are still coming in, tasks are waiting to be done and you have this bad feeling that you are missing out. So you should rather find some activity, otherwise you will feel very lazy and unproductive.

It’s safe to say that 4 day workweek is not for everyone but if you think that it could actually work at your company, test it out for some limited period of time and you will see if you and your team are able to accomplish more by working less.

3 great things about having an international Virtual Assistant

Multitasking and everyday routine could be a real problem for many companies from online shops to brick-and-mortar businesses. Especially growing companies should have a higher focus on their strategic goals and not waste their resources into every day business operations. To level up your business and become a winner in the highly competitive environment, you should definitely consider hiring a Virtual Assistant to outsource part of your daily tasks.

We are ready to share 3 great things about hiring international Virtual Assistant with you:

1. Boost the productivity of your team

Don’t let your team  burn out of routine work.  If you outsource some monotonous and time-consuming tasks to your Virtual Assistant, you will save your existing staff from over hours and will avoid hiring extra in-house employees.

2. Build an international team and have a global footprint

With international Virtual Assistant you can expand your business and create an international network of employees. Moreover, you will find out new creative solutions and excel your multicultural awareness. Virtual Assistant allows scaling your business throughout the world in the most affordable way.

3. Hire less staff and reduce costs

To have an international Virtual Assistant means to choose a specialist among a great variety of remote workers all over the world. You can find a well-educated freelance employee or outsource a part of your tasks to a consulting company. Whichever you choose,   there is an obvious benefit of saving money by making a “result based” contract and reducing costs on the office equipment for additional employees.

Assuming foregoing we can conclude, that hiring international Virtual Assistant is a very effective solution for small and medium-sized companies. There are certain risks in delegating your duties, but if you find the right employee or company, you will enjoy the advantages of Virtual Assistant and get a return on investment faster than you expected.

Before you make a brave decision to contract out, consider reading some more insights on outsourcing that Katrium team prepared for you.

5 reasons to keep in touch with your customers

The heartbeats of all businesses are customers. So it is crucial for the success of your business to be constantly in touch with your customer base. The moment when you start focusing on some other part of your business and take your attention away from your clients is the time when you become irrelevant.

Business weekdays can get very busy, so emails look like the easiest and quickest way to contact your customer. However, the truth is that nothing can be better than phone conversations and personal meetings with your client. Here are some reasons why you should make time for your customers and do it with a personal approach.

1. Reveal new needs and trends

To stay up to date is a forever question of all businesses. What was actual last year, may become just a page in history today. If you want to prevent yourself from losing your clients to competitors or becoming irrelevant in your industry you should always be in touch with your customers and try to find out what is new in their businesses. The more you care and demonstrate your willingness to find the best option for your client, the more you learn about your customer. And if you really listen to each particular customer, it will become easier to identify new trends and opportunities on the overall market.

2. Higher repurchases and loyalty

Strong relationship means that your customers will come back and make repurchases. Sometimes they are not aware of your other products or services you provide. An occasional phone call can be a great opportunity to let them know about your new solutions.

3. It is cheaper to retain customers than get a new ones

The statistic speaks clearly: it is more affordable to retain your old customers than look for new ones. Once you admit this fact, you will be keen to provide as satisfying customer service as possible to keep your current clients.

4. Get testimonials and results of your customers

If you stay in touch with your customers you can easily get to know the results they are achieving with your products or services. Thanks to these testimonials and case studies from your customers you can find other possibilities how to help and improve your customer services. If you casually ask your customers how your product or service has helped them, they will be flattered that you value their opinion.

5. Build relationship

The power of a trusting relationship should be never underestimated. You have already invested time and money into getting your customers so why not to do everything you can to keep them as well? A quick call to see how they are doing or if everything is in order is a great cause for customer loyalty. Your ongoing support and attention will definitely help you to build a long-term relationship with your clients.