By Steve Moran

I recently came across a post at Bloomberg titled “Tell Your Boss the Four-Day Week Is Coming Soon”, discussing how the 4-day workweek is gaining some traction.

What companies are finding is that when teams who have been working 5, eight-hour days are told they will now only need to work 4, eight-hour days, or 32 hours a week with no reduction in pay, they are getting the same or higher levels of productivity and team members are happier.

Could this Work in Senior Living?

When I first read it I thought, “cool idea but it doesn’t have any application for senior living”. And then I got to thinking.

What if full-time CNAs, caregivers, dining services, housekeeping staff, office staff, activity leaders, and salespeople were actually offered this? My first thought was that it would simply cost operators more money and they are already crushed for cash.

But then . . .

My mind started to wander.

Imagine this Scenario

Brookdale, which just announced their occupancy is at a cringe-worthy 70-something percent, decides to do something crazy bold and different and announces a new policy for team members.

 “Work 4 Get Paid for 5”

It seems crazy, even insane for a company that’s struggling to reduce costs and increase income, but just maybe, it makes more sense than you think:

  1. Imagine the free press Brookdale would receive for doing this crazy employee-friendly thing. Tens of millions of dollars worth.
  2. They would be overwhelmed with job applicants and be able to cherry-pick the best of the best.

That is not even the really good stuff:

  1. On the 4 workdays each week, team members would come to work fired up and excited about what they are doing. They would serve residents in a way that could only be dreamed of.
  2. Word of mouth would spread . . . like crazy . . . occupancy would skyrocket. I know everyone would want to have their mom or dad living in a community operated by a company that cared that much for their team members.

The Big Question

How much would occupancy have to increase to make this go from craziness to brilliant? How many extra full units would it take to make this profitable?

And . . . if it got Brookdale full, it would mean the ability to increase rates faster.

I am not sure, but I am thinking it just might be the most brilliant, crazy strategy ever devised.

How About Senior Living Foresight?

I am a “put my money where my mouth is” kind of person, so here is my new rule, which is kind of my old rule: if we get the work done and you want to take a day a week off, just let us know in advance and all is good.

How about you?

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