Many UK businesses are participating in a 6-month pilot programme for their employees to work a four-day week but get the same pay and benefits that they would if they were full-time.
It might sound too good to be true but the expectation is that increasing productivity in those four days means that staff deliver the same work in less time.
Studies have shown huge benefits for this type of working pattern, including:
- Happier and less stressed employees
- A better work/life balance
- It’s easier to attract and retain staff
- Positive environmental impacts
- Easier and cheaper childcare for employees with young children
- Better health outcomes for workers
- Improved company loyalty
- Stronger family and community ties
The big question is : how do I become more productive in a four-days-a-week working pattern? We aim to answer that question here!
How can I get more done in less time?
While some businesses who operate a four-day week simply extend the hours their employees work on those days, most are encouraged to stick with the same hours but change their working practices to achieve more in less time.
Examples of timesaving ideas include arranging fewer meetings and making the ones you have really productive. Limiting interruptions can have a massive positive effect on productivity, as can the Pomodoro method of working in 20-minute bursts before taking a break. Research shows that improved health outcomes means that employees have fewer sick days, which results in more work getting done. You could even invest some time in reading about good productivity habits – check out our 6 favourite productivity books here.
But there are other tricks you can use to be more productive, like analysing and streamlining your business processes. Once they have been reviewed you can introduce automation to allow robots to complete the tasks instead of people. Not only is this saving time, it also reduces human error and the need to rekey data from one system into another.
What are the benefits of business process automation?
Adopting business process automation has many benefits. Firstly, humans can forget steps, or cut corners, but an automated process won’t. When you configure an automation tool such as Zapier to complete a set of tasks then it will always do those tasks, without fail. Humans aren’t so reliable!
Automated processes are much quicker than waiting for a person to do the task. They can be done in the blink of an eye, and robots don’t take lunch breaks, or have sick days. This is where a four-day week becomes possible, because automating everyone’s boring, manual tasks means that staff achieve more in less time.
Another benefit of business process automation is that workers are happier. Not only are they working a shorter week, they have fewer mundane tasks on their To-Do list every day. They can concentrate on the creative aspect of their role, or client management, or improving customer service, the tasks which can’t be replaced by technology.
Why should you empower your employees with automation?
You can get up and running with no-code tools such as Zapier really quickly and easily, and you don’t need to hire an expensive developer to use them either. The best people to automate your manual business tasks are the staff that perform them every day. Another advantage of empowering your team with automation skills is that they are invested in the process.
We have previously written about 5 Reasons To Empower Your Workforce With Automation Skills and they still hold true. Investing in automation training for your staff will not only lead to increased innovation, productivity and employee satisfaction, it can also improve your bottom line and help you stay one step ahead of your competitors.
Adopting an automation mindset means that a four-day week is easily achievable, particularly when coupled with continuous improvement, which we champion at Solvaa.
How can businesses get started with automation?
The book includes examples of automations for the different departments within your business, including sales, marketing, operations and finance. No-code tools are a game-changer, and you can read about Kelly’s lightbulb moment in her origin story, how she went from being a frazzled business owner working 70-hour weeks to a successful automator who now lets the robots do the hard work.
By simplifying business processes and then integrating them via Zapier you create a streamlined operation which allows you to focus on the big picture and eliminate the daily chaos.
Find out more
If you’re a business owner and would like to empower your workforce with automation, then these other articles might be useful for you:
- How to empower employees with an automation mindset
- Free checklist to help you justify a learning budget
- How to get started with automation
We also have plenty of free stuff you can grab now, or you can buy our founder Kelly Goss’ book for the best way to learn how to use Zapier.
Our free Introduction To Zapier e-book explains the benefits of business process automation, how Zapier fits in and examples of automations for each department within your business.
We have a free cheat sheet with a checklist of Zapier’s inbuilt function which can supercharge your automations.
Kelly Goss’ book, Automate It with Zapier
Kelly’s book, Automate It with Zapier, is available on Amazon. It includes some ready-made templates for various examples so you can get started really quickly.
Check out our automation training programme
And finally, if you’re really keen to transform your business using automation, then visit the Solvaa Automation Academy. Our signature training programme, ‘Simple Automation Blueprint: Zero to Hero’ is aimed at anyone who wants to learn the fundamentals of business process automation from the experts – a sure-fire way to recession-proof your business.
It’s an 8-week blended learning course with on-demand videos, templates, resources and weekly group coaching sessions. And it’s more than just a Zapier course (although we do show you how to use Zapier like a pro) as you’ll learn about Process Mapping, Business Process Improvement and Business Process Management too – principles that can be applied to other areas of business too!
Whether you are a complete novice or have been using Zapier for a while, our programme is for you. It’s perfect for individuals and teams in micro, small and medium-sized businesses, including solopreneurs, consultants and freelancers. You’ll have access to our experts and can participate in live calls where you can ask all your burning questions, as well as hands-on workshops to keep you on track with implementing your new skills. We run regular cohorts so there will be an opportunity for everyone to participate.
Our head trainer, Kelly Goss, is a specialist in business systems, process improvement and automation, and one of less than 100 Zapier Certified Experts in the world. Kelly has many years’ experience in optimising systems and processes, and implementing automations for clients and is now passing on her knowledge to students through our trademarked ‘4-Step Solvaa Automation Methodology®‘.
Find out more via our dedicated Solvaa Automation Academy website.
Read more about how our certified experts use Zapier workflow automations to simplify processes and increase efficiency.
Solvaa is a process and automation consultancy specialising in improving sales, operations and financial administration workflows. We help you to simplify and streamline existing processes, integrate your business tools to make data transfer more efficient and automate manual tasks to increase productivity. We are Zapier Certified Experts, Pipedrive Certified Experts and Xero Certified Advisors.
Contact us today to discuss how Solvaa can help you simplify, improve and automate all aspects of your business with Zapier to save you time, reduce costs and keep you agile as you grow.