Is the 5-Day Work Week Dead to Me and You?

August 19, 2020 | 245 views

Is the 5-Day Work Week Dead to Me and You?
Is the 5-Day Work Week Dead to Me and You?

The longer we find ourselves with staggered work schedules, empty offices, and endless tele-meetings, it is harder to see the end of this great scheduling shift. When we catch up with friends or call family, the conversation inevitably turns to how we are coping, how we are working, and how we think the future might look.

Did we ever do this before? Did we consider so often how our workday might change or shift? Did we ever think we really might be able to work from home “WFH” forever? We might have dreamed of sipping frilly drinks in the sand while we shared our incredible business acumen. More likely, though, were simply wished to wear shorts and flip flops to the office. The crazy thing is that all three of these ideas might be feasible. We might be doing our job expertly, in our shorts, from home. Forever.

My question is whether we really want to do that. Do we want to? Already, there is research on the types of schedules that workers prefer during the pandemic and how they see returning to indoor offices. We kick around ideas of how it might look in the future, but we really don’t know. This creates a dichotomy that is difficult for business—we must make decisions for the future when we don’t know where or how we will work together.

It’s a Lopsided Question, Really

Most American office workers are in no hurry to return to the office full time, especially with escalating coronavirus issues. But that doesn’t mean they want to work from home forever. Instead, there is chatter about a hybrid work schedule. We’ve suggested this here, too, and it might work for many. A few days at home and a few days at work could be an effective way to spur collaboration in the office while leaving home time for singular, independent work activities.

However, in some industries, this is all a silly question because it is impossible to be at home to work at all. Ever. Medical clinics, libraries, construction sites, hotels and restaurants—these industries mandate a physical presence for most roles. The luxury of flip flops and WFH are crazy notions. Here, the business decisions are more about changing protocols to ensure worker safety on every scheduled shift.

I might be home in shorts today, but we know our clients are in their offices, whether that office is an animal care facility or a restaurant. When we imagine the future of scheduling, it doesn’t go away at all. Instead, we realize that creativity is needed to provide scheduling software options for our customers. We understand that hands-on, in-person work will continue to be necessary. If you have employees to schedule for in-person roles (or even WFH roles), you will want realistic expectations of your future. The 5-day work week is not dead for you nor for me. For us, the week is seven days long, and we need to schedule hands-on, in-person expertise that will be more valuable than ever. 

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007, and 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

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