The Advantages of a Four Day Workweek

The Advantages of a Four Day Workweek

The Advantages of a Four Day Workweek

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

Achieving work-life balance has always been an endless battle among corporate executives. On average, a full-time employee in the United States works 1,801 hours per year, or 37.5 hours per week, which is more than other OECD countries. For example, Europeans work up to 19 percent fewer hours annually compared to those working in the US.

This has been the work culture since the end of the great depression, but today, with technological advancement, many companies have recognized a lesser need for an in the office workforce. The recent pandemic really forced this change, and the realization of how effective work from home is, will likely be permanent for many.

Another new working model that is gaining popularity is that of a four-day workweek. Amid the work from home situation, many employees have complained of no time for personal life and family due to long working hours and working during the weekend. A 4-day work week might help them get a hold of both their professional and personal life.

For example, the four-day workweek plan would address a significant issue in the UK labor market burnout. In 2017–2018, work-related stress, anxiety, or depression accounted for 57% of all sick days, with workload pressure accounting for 44% of these.

If you think that’s bad, according to Everyday Health, in the US 83% of workers suffer from work-related stress. US businesses lose up to $300 billion yearly because of workplace stress. 

“Stress causes around one million workers to miss work every day.”

Only 43% of US employees think their employers care about their work-life balance. Depression leads to $51 billion in costs due to absenteeism and $26 billion in treatment costs.

“Work-related stress causes 120,000 deaths yearly and results in $190 billion in healthcare costs yearly.”

52% of Generation Z in the US have been diagnosed with mental health issues. There is a noticeable generation gap between baby boomers and Gen Z in terms of stress. While 52% of Gen Z has been diagnosed with mental health issues, only 41% of baby boomers have been. 

“57% of people stressed-out are paralyzed by stress.”

Let’s look at the advantages of having a four-day workweek. With more free time to heal and recoup, staff would perform better, enjoy their tasks more, and consequently take fewer sick breaks due to high-stress levels. Several companies are trying to experiment with the four-day workweek.

I personally tested the four-day work week last summer and was more productive than I could have ever imagined. It is true that the downtime allows for better recovery, mentally, emotionally, and physically. I love what I do, and with a little more down-time I discovered that I love it even more. I am doing the experiment again this summer.

“Four-day work weeks have benefits for both the employee and the employer.” 

Reduction of Costs

A four-day workweek can help everyone save money. The most obvious benefit is that operating costs would be significantly reduced because the office would be closed one extra day per week. Additionally, employees would spend less for commuting and would see cost savings in other areas such as lunch and coffee during the day. One day less a week can add up to saving a large sum of capital every month and even more throughout the year. 

“Shifting to a four-day week eliminates 20% of variable overhead expenses like electricity and energy consumption.” ~US Energy Information Association

Increase in Productivity

A case study in New Zealand found a 45 percent reduction in stress and a 45 percent rise in total life satisfaction in a company with 240 employees. Not only did their productivity rise but so did their commitment to the organization. When employees are pressured and compelled to work more and more without any rewards, it becomes hard for them to remain productive. On the other hand, if they are provided with suitable rewards and leaves, they are motivated to perform better. 

“A four-day work week could solve the high attrition problems some companies face in certain market segments, like IT Services.”

Increase in Employment Engagement

Employees have more time to rest and heal thanks to three-day weekend and an extra day off. As a result, individuals are less likely to be worried or take time off due to illness. They become more energetic and have increased attention spans. They become more motivated to return to their employment because of having more time to rest.

A real-life example of this are nurses working a four-day workweek. Nurses were found to request fewer sick days, plan 85 percent more activities for patients in their care, and reported higher health, mental well-being, and engagement in a study conducted in Sweden from 2015 to 2017.

Encourages Equality within the Organization

When it comes to adults who are unemployed due to childcare duties, there is a significant gender divide, with 89 percent of them being women.

Most of the time, women and single parents drop out of their corporate jobs due to less time for family. There are few allowances to help them in this regard. 

The four-day workweek can be beneficial in these cases. Employees, male, female, and non-binary, will be able to spend more time with their families while managing care and job commitments with a four-day workweek, promoting equal establishment, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace.

Less Health Issues

 The best advantage of a four-day workweek will be that the employees will have ample time for relaxing and getting back to work. Dr. John Ashton, president of the United Kingdom Faculty of Public Health, has suggested the health problems faced by office workers — obesity, sleep problems, high blood pressure, heart problems, and stress-related illnesses — are linked to too many hours sitting at desks. 

“Rest and rejuvenation are essential for the overall well-being of an individual.”

Four-day workweeks have been shown to decrease stress and improve mental health. Since stress has been proven to increase risk of disease and decrease life expectancy, a four-day week seems like a logical next step for humanity.

Environment Friendly

A shortened work week can cut overall carbon emissions and save energy by reducing commuters. You will not only help save the environment, but you will also save money on your energy costs! 

For instance, the state of Utah had a 13 percent reduction in energy use, and as a result, workers saved around $6 million in fuel costs, when it commissioned the trial for businesses in the state to try a four-day work week in 2009. According to findings, the initiative would reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than 12,000 metric tons a year.

Should You Try This?

The four-day workweek plan is practical and offers quite a few advantages too. If you’re willing to boost the productivity of your employees by giving them three off days a week, the four-day workweek plan is worth trying. 

“An overworked employee is much less productive than an employee working a reasonable number of days per week.”

While just 15% of employers currently offer this schedule, according to the Society for Human Resource Management, the rise of flexible and remote working arrangement as well as advancements in technology and automation are pushing this idea toward becoming reality for more.

Companies pride themselves on perks and benefits for employees, but what people really want is more time for their family, hobbies, and downtime. In turn employers get more loyal, productive, and healthy employees. 

Why are we letting a decision made 80 years ago of working five days a week, dictate our needs in 2021 and beyond?

Business Innovation Brief

How Communication Skills Can Improve Your Relationships

How Communication Skills Can Improve Your Relationships

How Communication Skills Can Improve Your Relationships

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

Relationships are not difficult to sustain, provided there is open and honest communication between people. When each person understands how the other thinks and feels about specific topics, the relationship becomes more open and inclusive, making it simpler to sustain. 

Communication is considered the key pillar of any relationship.

In the season four finale episode of Rant and Grow, Dr. Jim Van Allan, a professor of communication studies with Kaiser University, professional speaker, and author, talks about his love for communication, and shares his own journey.

Stop Being Lousy

As Jim speaks about what he had to go through to fall in love with communication, he recalls how his relationship with his father strained over the years because of poor communication. He observes that many parent-child relationships are ruined when the child reaches teenage years.

It happens because neither of them communicates what they feel, and that leads to misunderstandings. He decided that he didn’t want to be a lousy communicator like his dad was and started taking up courses related to interpersonal communication skills in college.

When we don’t learn to express ourselves in constructive ways, we end up having lousy relationships and it’s not because of the other person, that is on us as individuals.

“It just splintered our relationship and it just spiraled. You know, he never really dealt with it face-to-face. He never really said, hey, let’s talk about this.”

Deal with Your Insecurities

Everyone is dealing with insecurities and personal issues. It is what stops them from being themselves and communicate it to the world. They fear judgment, and even if they do share, they become their own worst critics. It also means that they are afraid of being vulnerable and letting their feelings out.

Jim said: A common link that I found is that everybody is dealing with something, and it could be big, it could be small, or it could be an issue with a parent. It could be an anxiety issue; it could be OCD. Everybody’s dealing with some kind of insecurity, vulnerability, and they don’t know how to articulate it, they don’t know how to share it, they don’t know how to manage it and how to kind of live their life with it.

It is essential to let our feeling out, not like a volcano, but appropriately. When people refrain from sharing their feelings, it affects every aspect of their lives. However, communication proves a pivotal factor to survival in such situations as humans are born to connect and build community.

Talk about Your Passions

Jim says if you get anxious while communicating, you should find something that you are passionate about. If you notice when anyone is talking to you about something they are passionate about, they never fumble!

For example, a teenage girl talking about her love for makeup or a middle-aged man talking about his passion for sports. You just have to find your area of interest, prepare for it, and everything else gets easier.

It is a decisive shift in context when you find what it is that excites you. You attain a more positive attitude while having conversations on topics that would otherwise scare you.

“When you are passionate about something you never want to be quiet about it, you want to tell the whole world.”

Ask Questions

Many people think that human interaction is rocket science. It is not. You just have to do more listening. Ask a question. Yes, it is that simple. Ask questions. Take interest in learning from others.

The simplest way to start a conversation is by asking questions. It could be as simple as “Where are you from?” When you ask someone a question, they ask you another question, and before you know it, you’re already in a deep conversation. 

Even if it doesn’t work out sometimes, it is okay; not everyone is meant to be your friend. You must keep trying in order to become a better communicator.

Overall, communication is one of the most crucial life skills that one must have to excel in relationships and your career. Your ideas and opinions are a waste if you don’t communicate them appropriately. 

Once you learn to share your thoughts and ideas, everything else automatically simplifies.

To learn more about how communication is essential for relationships, catch Jim Van Allen, an expert, and his conversation on Rant & Grow for some terrific tips.

Dr. Jim Van Allan is the Vice President of Schools for The Jon Gordon Companies. He runs the Energy Bus for Schools and Power of Positive Schools programs which help schools across the U.S. develop positive, engaged campuses. 

He is also a Professor of Communication Studies for Keiser University teaching public speaking and interpersonal communication courses fully online. Jim runs the podcast ‘Communicate to Motivate’ helping to make communication skills practical and powerful in everyday life. We talk about the importance of developing great communication skills and the impact it has on relationships.

Just click on the play button to listen to the podcast right here.

Business Innovation Brief

How to Achieve What Seems Impossible

How to Achieve What Seems Impossible

How to Achieve What Seems Impossible

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

There are people who strive to achieve what other may consider impossible. This might be with reference to their personal lives or their professional lives. Nevertheless, they want to achieve something that they have never done before. Furthermore, they thrive at the idea of achieving what others may have never been able to do.

It is daunting to think about doing something that seems to be impossible when no one else has done it yet. However, in the latest episode of Rant and Grow with guest Kimberly Wiefling, you’ll discover how to make achieving the impossible relatively easy.

Control the Narrative

Lots of people believe that they are not in control of what happens in their own life. They are always influenced by a boss, a co-worker, their family, or their financial commitments and get the feeling that they are living their life for someone else.

“You are always in control of your life.”

What you need to remember is that there might be some things that are outside of your control, such as some traits and limitations that you may have been born with, but there are other things that you completely control.

For example, you are always in complete control of your actions.

You must constantly ask yourself if you are taking steps towards achieving your dreams. If you are doing so, you are on the right track to achieve truly impossible things relatively easy.

There’s a whole bunch of things that are outside of your control. There’s the body you were born with. There’s the intelligence that you have access to. There’s your life history, your family history. 

If you focus on the things you can’t control, you are screwed. Always ask yourself: What do I control? What am I contributing to this? There’s always some way.

Face It Head On

Make a list of the things that are stopping you from getting you to your desired destination. When you list down your biggest hurdles, you will discover that most of those things are not even existent in real life. 

When you start to go about solving them, you will discover that most of the hurdles that you thought were impossible to get through are in fact, just made up in your mind.

“Most of the things stopping us from achieving our dreams have nothing to do with things like gravity, it’s all made up in our head. It’s narratives we sell to ourselves.”

Jump In

Imagination is one of the most powerful tools available to humankind. To achieve the impossible, you must make sure that you are able to envision your goal vividly and lucidly.

When you are able to do that, you will feel all your senses and emotions get fired up, making you feel exactly how you would feel when you finally achieve the impossible.

Hence, when you give yourself the liberty and permission to dream and imagine the things that you would like to achieve, your mind becomes ready for it even though the task might seem impossible in the beginning.

Some people also aid that imagination with positive self-talk or positive affirmations that make them more confident about themselves and their abilities.

“Positive self-talk has been shown to boost confidence in ways that are incomprehensible.”

Positive self-talk is a tool used by professionals around the world to achieve the impossible every single day.

You jump into the future. You create a clear image. You imagine in high definition. You ask yourself: What exactly would it look like? What would it taste like, smell like and sound like at my end goal?

You need to hallucinate your future, but you don’t do this alone. Barbara Sher said many years ago, isolation is the dream killer. Work with people who believe in you. Find a coach, a mentor, a support group. 

“Create your tribe of believers who want to imagine and manifest the impossible with you.”

In conclusion, when you want to achieve things that seem impossible in the beginning, just follow the simple steps in this blog and ensure that you change your mindset first, from thinking things are impossible to believing in “I am Possible”.

Listening to this week’s Rant and Grow podcast with Kimberly Wiefling, will help you sharpen the skills needed to achieve what you may think impossible today.

Kimberly is the founder of Wiefling Consulting a Silicon Valley-based global consultancy. A physicist by education, Kimberly enables managers to become leaders and groups of people to become a true team.

Her book, Scrappy Project Management, has gotten her invited to speak to audiences globally. She works globally with valued colleagues at Silicon Valley Alliances.

In this episode of Rant & Grow we talk about how to have extraordinary breakthroughs in leadership and business success. Just click on the play button to listen to the podcast right here.

Business Innovation Brief

The Science of Dreams and How to Interpret Them

The Science of Dreams and How to Interpret Them

The Science of Dreams and How to Interpret Them

A lot of people are curious about dreams and their origin. Most dreams are usually absurd, and open to various interpretation. While many scientists say that dreams occur in correspondence with the last thought that went through our minds when we fell asleep, many others think that it is a game of our subconscious mind.

The interpretation of dreams has become very vague and ambiguous. In a recent Rant & Grow podcast I explored the science of understanding and interpreting dreams with Tyrone Brown, a dream, and mindfulness coach with a background in yoga, meditation, energy healing, and Shamanism.

The Significance of Dreams

Tyrone Brown relates his journey through which he found out the kind of significance that dreams hold. He was 14 years of age when he started interpreting dreams. Before that, he thought of them to be coincidences or weird stories that your mind played on you while you were asleep.

These stories, at that time, held no significance and were discarded. However, when Tyrone started analysing how his dreams affected his thinking and how they emerged, he found how the interpretation of those dreams could help him in life.

He started figuring out the gaps in his life and began finding solutions that helped him fill them. Tyrone Brown says: “I realized that there’s so much more to [dreams], and I realized that from an early age, I was getting guidance. That’s the guidance that I’ve followed through my life which has helped my life in many ways.”

Why Dreams are Evasive

Dreams are highly transient, and the memory of the dreams we have soon fade away after we wake up. Even when we have a clear memory of the dream in our heads when we wake up, most people find it very hard to describe them as they saw then. Hence, most dreams are lost when we wake up, and we have no memory of them whatsoever.

The reason dreams are so mysterious is that it is tough to remember them. Tyrone Brown suggests that a sure-fire way of remembering your dreams is to start journaling them as soon as you wake up.

Making a dedicated dream journal will give your subconscious mind a trigger that will help you remember your dream for a longer time. Once people start maintaining and using dream journals regularly, they can interpret the meaning of their dreams faster and better.

Dreams Represent your Predominant Thoughts

Do you often feel like you have the same dream repeatedly? When you notice your dreams every day, do you notice a pattern in which you experience them? Is there a central theme to the sort of dreams that you, see?

Tyrone Brown says that when people start noticing that they have a theme to their dreams, those themes are related to thoughts that run through the person’s mind all day long. 

When a person thinks about something repeatedly, and that thought shows up in the person’s dreams, that is something that the subconscious is deeply engaged with. This theme might be a problem, things that make you anxious, or the things you must take care of.

Reversing Dreams

Once you identify this theme, you can use dreams like a meditative state to go in and out of them to work on the things holding you back in your life. 

The intention is, you can go back into your dream through visualization and do work in your dream with a newfound awareness, and that can resolve an issue in your waking life because. At that point, you’re in the subconscious. 

Dreams are untapped resources for healing and transformational tools that we all have access to every night.

“Dreams are like a cheat sheet towards finding insights and inspiration around things that you want to create in your life.”

Interpreting Dreams

Interpreting dreams can be simple, but there is a bit of a learning curve because it’s a self-empowered approach to Interpretation. versus looking up the meaning of them online or in a book.

It is essential to have inner inquiry rather than looking outside for answers. Because once you develop that, you start trusting your ability to understand dreams yourself. 

It empowers you with a tool for life to interpret custom messages that you are receiving. It also strengthens your intuition and your confidence which carries over into your day-to-day life.

Dreams that occur to you are usually indicative of some turmoil that you are facing in your life. When the body enters the deep sleep stage, the subconscious becomes active. 

It is here that your subconscious takes over the mind and shows you visuals of the things or thoughts that are deeply embedded in it. When this happens, patterns start to emerge, usually indicating that something on those lines has made a lasting impact on your subconscious.

The interpretation of those dreams is highly subjective and open to a lot of reflection, but with some practice you can begin to make translating dreams scientific and predictable.

Listening to this week’s Rant and Grow podcast with Tyron Brown, will open your eyes on how the science of dreams and how to interpret them.

Tyrone Brown is a dream-time and mindfulness coach, and the creator of “The Activated Dreamer Masterclass”. His background is in energy medicine, mindfulness, yoga, meditation, and shamanism. 

He teaches students around the world to use their dreams as a transformational tool to step into their true potential. In this episode we explore the science behind dreams and how to interpret them.

Just click on the play button to listen to the podcast right here.

Business Innovation Brief

How to Use Brain Rewiring to Overcome Blockages

How to Use Brain Rewiring to Overcome Blockages

How to Use Brain Rewiring to Overcome Blockages

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

Experts have yet to discover the limits of the brain’s abilities. Some believe we may never fully grasp them all. But the data does support the existence of one of its most significant processes: brain-rewiring. It can help your brain relearn, by repairing old pathways or creating new ones.

On the recent Rant and Grow podcast, I had a seasoned climber and experienced business mentor who is also a certified brain rewiring coach- none other than Chelsea Murn. We talked about how you can use brain rewiring to overcome blocks and obstacles in your life and business.

What Is Brain Rewiring?

Neuroplasticity is the significant, scary technical term for brain rewiring. It simply refers to how a human brain can understand the need to restructure and adapt to changing times. 

In simpler terms, it essentially merely means how the brain can continue developing and evolving throughout the multiple phases of a person’s life. It is used to treat traumas, depression and other problems that stem from low self-esteem, and self-worth.

“Brain rewiring helps us get down to the core of our limiting beliefs, so the things we learn about ourselves from a young age that don’t serve us as adults, can be changed.”

What Is the Process of Brain Rewiring?

The first step to brain rewiring is identifying what is going on in an individual’s mind about themselves that needs to change to boost confidence. Usually, it stems from people not feeling worthy. 

After you pinpoint precisely which story is negative and acts as a trigger, you can work on changing this narrative into something affirming. You can identify working patterns and try various tools to look at yourself in a different light.

“This is what I want my story to look like; these are the patterns, habits, the limiting beliefs that I’m going to start to change because they’re not serving me anymore.” ~ You

Methods of Brain Rewiring to Overcome Challenges

In the words of Chelsea Murn, brain rewiring can be done in various ways, some of which have been briefly described here, along with a few activities that people can practice daily.


Aspiration is one of the most basic human tendencies. Being motivated to achieve something in the future keeps us striving hard and gives us a sense of purpose and direction. 

Along with Chelsea Murn, various experts have suggested that when a person practices visualizing future events that they want to live, it helps them cope with negative experiences of the past. 

For entrepreneurs, especially, it is seen how they can better achieve their goals when they lock it in place for their future and make the vision a reality. This activity instills confidence and clarity in the mind.

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life, and you will call it fate.” ~ Carl Jung

Shadow Work

While the famous Car Jung saying teaches us that we must always focus on the brighter side of human personalities, we must also accept that everyone has certain insecurities and experiences that they do not showcase to others. It becomes their dark shadow. 

The fundamental basis of shadow work is acknowledging that the shadow exists, rather than saying life is all cherries.

We are taking aspects of ourselves that we have deemed unacceptable, unworthy… and we hide them into a ‘shadow’… Where you start your shadow work is to look at the things that trigger you.

Life is a constant contrast of the good and the bad, and they are both equally important. Identifying triggers such as anger, depression, dependence etc., is the first step to shadow work. 

Confronting these shadows head-on, to work them out can be uncomfortable but worth it. Journaling, therapy, meditation and other forms of introspection are necessary. It results in better relationships with others and inner-self, peace of mind, increase in confidence and prevention of self-deprecation.

Commitment to Physical Well-Being

Physical health and mental health are intricately woven together. Apart from looking fit and having stronger muscles, physical activity is scientifically proven to have massive positive impacts on the brain. 

It can lead to the release of many happy hormones like serotonin. It is beneficial to cognitive abilities, logical reasoning and memory, and the ability to create stronger social bonds with people. Working out gets directly connected with neuroplasticity since it increases blood flow and cell growth while eliminating depression. 

You must exercise, at your pace, at least four days a week to keep your entire body healthy.

Let the Creative Juices Flow!

Creating any form of art — sketching, musical instruments, journaling and scrapbooking- or anything else that expresses your emotions and personal experiences is always recommended. 

You then have a better understanding of yourself, and it’s a big step towards introspection that is essential for brain rewiring. Such artistic ventures highlight avenues in your personality that you can explore and grow. 

Scientific research also shows how art can help in strengthening cognitive and social abilities that may be completely unrelated.

“Your feelings are valid; everything that you want will happen for you. Don’t let anybody make you small or make you second guess what you want.”

The bottom line remains that brains can be recovered from negativity if given space and time. You can overcome these blocks better by learning from the past and proactively healing traumas. You must recognize how you feel and what are the things that make you feel that way.

Listening to this week’s Rant and Grow podcast with Chelsea Murn, will open your eyes on how to leverage brain rewiring techniques to propel yourself forward in life and business.

Chelsea Murn is a climbing coach, brain rewiring certified coach and business mentor for those wanting major change in their lives. She uses tools like brain rewiring to help her clients grow their businesses, improve their lives, create more time, location, and financial freedom. When not climbing she can be found hosting her podcast Lady Beta.

In this episode we explore how to overcome blockages in business by using brain rewiring techniques. Just click on the play button to listen to the podcast right here.

Business Innovation Brief

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