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4-day workweek gains steam, requires new IT planning for support
by Paul Davenport Paul Davenport on

With enterprises yet again pushing back their return-to-office plans, many business leaders are taking a closer look at flexible work schedules in an effort to increase worker satisfaction—and really decrease burnout. This comes as research shows workers are putting in more hours than ever during the pandemic, with many folks still struggling to unplug from work when they log onto the job from home.

One strategy that is proving increasingly popular? The 4-day work week.

Iceland recently adopted this schedule on a national scale and got the world talking as productivity rose for nearly all participants of the trial, despite many individuals working 4-5 fewer hours each week.

Will Stronge, director of research at Autonomy, a UK think tank tracking the trial, said: “This study shows that the world’s largest ever trial of a shorter working week in the public sector was by all measures an overwhelming success. It shows that the public sector is ripe for being a pioneer of shorter working weeks—and lessons can be learned for other governments.”

While the trial was a success, it only affected roughly 1 percent of Iceland’s working population, and research still needs to be done to see how an abbreviated weekly schedule would work on an enterprise scale. However, new research from automation developer Bizagi shows that workers are more than willing to try out a 4-day workweek, though they aren’t so sure their employers agree.

Forty-four percent of respondents said the “demands” of their industry simply won’t “accommodate one less day of work per week,” according to the report, and 43 percent said “all of the work assigned within [their] company is necessary and can’t be eliminated.”

Of those polled, however, 49 percent said that they believe their role could be done in four days rather than five; and to get it done, 45 percent of people said it would take eliminating unnecessary tasks, while 44 percent said that some of their tasks would need to be automated.

Not surprisingly, a lack of the right tools and technology “to automate tasks that save me time spent working” is cited by 17 percent of respondents. This is an increasingly common issue as enterprises undergo WFH-related network transformations, as many employees who went remote with little planning last year continued using legacy tools and workflows that are a bad fit for workers outside of the office.

Cloud migration and SaaS adoption continues to be a trend well into the pandemic as companies continue to seek out ways to make their entire business more efficient and agile, starting with IT.

However, the key to supporting an increasingly remote and cloud-centric business hinges on enterprise IT being able to gain an understanding of application and network performance from the end-user perspective.

And with most users access their workflows from outside the four walls of the office, gaining visibility from the vantage of the end user calls for performance monitoring down to the individual workstation, so that minor performance roadblocks that take place locally—that is, on a user’s workstation or even their local WiFi—can be resolved before they impact productivity across the larger enterprise network.

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Filed Under: industry insights

Tags: network performance monitoring, network management, network operations, IT ops, network monitoring, cloud computing, hybrid work, wfh, wfa, work from home, work from anywhere, remote work, hybrid office

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