More and more start-ups and small business owners are reporting longer weekly working hours than ever.
In 2017 for example, 36% of Smart50 Awards listed business owners reported working 60 – 70 hours per week, 22% reported 50+ hours and 10% reported 75+ hours per week. We know from extensive research by leadership experts, that even when employees are afforded flexible workplaces, styles and hours burn out is still a very real threat, not only to employees but entrepreneurs and small business owners too.
Anyone working more than a 40 hour work week runs the risk of burning out and increasingly, successful entrepreneurs and leaders in business innovation are writing and talking about the benefits of committing to a shorter working week, leaving them more energetic and with a healthier work/life balance. Instead of being forever ‘switched on’ and ready to work, successful leaders are increasingly incorporating contemporary practices like telecommuting and retaining virtual assistants who can be delegated tasks and responsibilities that entrepreneurs and owners just don’t have the time for.
This streamlined approach to modern business development is proving extremely successful, with compressed work weeks making up the structure of half of the companies listed as Australia’s ‘50 best places to work.’ Whether this compressed work week looks like a 30-hour week, 4-day week or something else entirely, it’s a trend that has a massive pay-off for owners and employees.
So how do they do it?
Thinking about changing your work style or implementing new practices and working hours is a daunting prospect, even for the most organised business owner. Fortunately, we’ve done (some of) the hard work for you! After weeding through all the best advice from self-starters and successful entrepreneurs who have made the switch to a new business model we have carefully collected our top 3 tips for cutting back on hours, without breaking the business.
1. Outsource tasks to a trusted VA
Timothy Ferriss, bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek, documents how he moved from a 14-hour per day work schedule to only 4 hours per week, when a 3 week sabbatical in Europe inspired him to streamline all of his processes. Honestly, Timothy's approach business model is interesting enough to warrant it's own entire blog - but I digress. By working remotely and delegating most tasks to efficient and flexible Virtual Assistants, Timothy freed up enough spare time that his main focus is now self-promotion.
2. Talk to your team
Anna Ross, founder of nail polish brand Kester Black ensures her staff work no more than a four-day work week. When discussing her strategy at 'Mobile-ising Women', an industry event in 2017, Ross revealed that not only did she receive feedback from her team when she initially made the change to a more flexible roster but again, when the new policies were reviewed and further improved upon.
Coronavirus has thrown a real spanner in the works for many businesses, though for some the necessity of telecommuting may be a blessing in disguise. Working from home may not only reduce business overheads on things like office rental, internet and phone costs but this modern approach also reduces the cost of business to the environment. How can this cut back your work hours though? Well as well as saving 15-25 full working days a year by just cutting travel time, research has shown that productivity actually increases more than 10 per cent in staff and management working from home.
Shorter workdays really are possible and the solution may be simpler than you think. Start small – investigate telecommuting options, streamline your system by delegating to virtual assistance and start scheduling with the big picture in mind – long term goals for you, your business and your staff. Flexibility is not just a trend, but a radical response to an all too frequently imbalanced work/life routine. So what are you waiting for? Reach out to Adminovate to find out what a Virtual Assistant can do for you and get your free time back today.