Time: It can be so elusive. The same three minutes can go so slowly (think waiting in line at the supermarket) or move by in what feels like seconds (that roller coaster ride). We keep time as a way to structure and organize our days; When we have too much time on our hands, we can feel unfilled. Too little time and we are overwhelmed. How can we maximize our time to our advantage to do the things we love to do in the ways in which we feel controlled without being controlled and productive without constantly answering to a clock?
The average workday has changed drastically over the years, especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The beginning of 2020 introduced us to remote work in response to stay-at-home orders, but despite society’s slow return to normal after the pandemic, many companies are still offering work-from-home options for its employees because, in fact, this work model often provides a better work/life balance. It has often been proven that those working remotely are just as productive, if not more, than those working in the office.
In addition to work-from-home options, another work model that is becoming more mainstream is the four-day work week. Author Annie Dillard once famously said that “how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives,” and for many, large portions of their days are spent at work: It is estimated that individuals will spend one-third of their lives working. This does not include the hours spent preparing for, and commuting to work, which once factored in, leaves little time to enjoy life and all of its precious moments. This poses the question: are we living simply to work? Enter the four-day work week.
What is a four-day workweek?
The four-day workweek is ideally a “32-hour workweek with no loss in productivity, pay, or benefits.” How these weeks are structured may depend on the company and the industry: Some places may choose a Monday-Thursday workweek which seems to be the standard, but other employers may allow employees to choose their extra day off or have a company policy that specifies a day.
Although the hours of work may be less per week in a four-day workweek, studies have shown that productivity does not decrease with a decrease in hours. As an example, researchers in Iceland found that a four-day workweek without pay cut improved employee well-being and productivity. Businesses worldwide have begun to show interest in this model, and this interest seems to have been initiated by a trial conducted by Microsoft in 2019 that resulted in a 40% rise in productivity. Although the four-day workweek has not gained widespread adoption in the United States, companies have started to experiment: Startup companies like Kickstarter and Bolt are a few of the companies that have started implementing a shorter workweek.
Pros and Cons of a Shorter Workweek
This proposed workweek model has both positives and negatives. The most obvious “pro” of a four-day workweek is the extra time that one will have to enjoy life outside of work. This time can be spent with family and friends, but also for the necessary tasks such as attending doctor appointments or even continued education. But employers also reap the benefits of a shorter workweek: studies have found that less hours at work have increased sales, reduced employee burnout and have helped lower operating costs for an office, assuming that the company is not already fully remote. Another potential benefit is that a shorter workweek may reduce commuting and traffic congestion, therefore potentially benefiting the environment.
On the flip side, four days of work does not always mean that employees will maintain their pay and benefits. Some organizations are using a shorter workweek as a cost-saving measure. Companies like Stanley Black and Decker and the Los Angeles Times managed to trim 20% from payroll costs over three months. When discussing a shorter work week, it is also important to note that not all employees like the idea of having an extra day off of work: individuals may enjoy the social aspects of their job or find that a compressed week leaves them with a feeling of stress and pressure to get more work done in less time. It is also important to note that not every industry can easily adopt this model.
Working with Extra Time
Whether or not your company has adopted a four-day workweek yet or not, it is still important to use your time wisely. When you punch out of work on that Friday (or Thursday!), you can still earn money while you spend time doing the things you love. This is one of the reasons why so many choose to invest in real estate: it is often passive and generates income without the need of constant monitoring and effort. As a mom, entrepreneur, and attorney, I know first-hand that many women are so busy with their professional careers and their lives outside of work and forget that their money can grow and multiply if invested properly. I love having the opportunity to encourage women to invest wisely, thereby freeing up their time to work less and enjoy the things they love to do and be with the people they love most. Investing wisely allows you to free up TIME, which is the most important commodity we have, as also evidenced by society’s push for more flexibility in the workforce.
About Atara Twersky
Atara Twersky, is real estate owner, sponsor, and syndicator. She is principal and founder at Ascendo Capital LLC. Atara is also an attorney in NYC and the bestselling author of the children’s book series, Curlee Girlee, inspired by her own young curly haired daughter and written for all curly girls in an effort to ensure they love themselves and their hair exactly as they are. Atara is the host of a popular investment podcast, Bridging the Gap: Real Estate for Women
As a mother of 3 school age children, Atara Twersky knows how children can be impacted by their surroundings: how the place they call home will directly affect their ability to do homework, to interact with their friends and siblings, and ultimately have the ability to empower them to grow into happy and healthy young adults. Positive community and apartment living is one of the key components to a well-adjusted child, and it has become Atara’s mission as a multi-family owner to help build communities that will allow its members, young and old alike, to thrive and grow and be happy.
In addition, Atara has been a securities class action attorney for over 15 years, but what many of her clients do not know is that she was able put herself through law school buying and selling HUD properties in the New York area by using the BRRR (Buy, Rehab, Refinance, Repeat) method before it had a name. Before she knew it, she was buying and flipping homes totally based on her instincts and a quick back of the napkin numbers check.
Today as a multifamily sponsor and owner, Atara’s mission is to create communities where tenants feel at home, whether they are there for a short time or plan to stay for many years, because the place where one chooses to hang his or her hat and kick up their feet has to feel just right.
Investing alongside Atara will be an experience in full transparency and disclosure. As an investor in her properties, you will make returns on your investment money and be privy to the process.
Invest with Atara Twersky and you will help build community all while increasing your wealth!
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