Marketing automation has played a significant role in making our time at work more efficient. This is not a revolutionary or surprising statement – after all, it’s not hard to imagine that technology capable of automating repetitive tasks would be a time saver.  What once took days now takes hours, and what once took hours now takes minutes.

The revolution is that organizations are using the time that platforms like marketing automation have given them to rethink their workplace culture. Companies are questioning if their 8-hour workdays are still necessary and the effectiveness of shorter workday. Because automation has removed the tedium that drained both time and mental energy from employees, talent is able to be better distilled. Projects are completed faster and with greater focus. Some companies are taking advantage of this efficiency to offer employees more personal time.

Leveraging Marketing Automation to Offer Key Benefits

According to MetLife’s 2019 Employee Benefit Trends Study, personal time is exactly what employees want most of all. Inc’s article “The Most Coveted Workplace Perk of All” shares, “A large majority of respondents — 72 percent — said they were most interested in unlimited paid-time-off. Unlimited PTO ranked higher than wellness programs, paid sabbaticals, and even on-site meals, gyms, and other convenient services like dry cleaning.”

The time that technologies like marketing automation, video conferencing and even AI free up are empowering companies with the ability to offer this top perk. They can extend more paid-time-off and do it without compromising performance. Some would even argue that performance is enhanced, as employees are more productive when they’re happy. “”Employers who support employees as individuals in and out of the workplace will thrive in this evolving environment.”

Where the Shorter Workday Came From

The concept of the shorter workday or workweek is not a new one. Back in 2007, author Tim Ferriss wrote the bestseller, “The 4-Hour Workweek” – a guide that was originally intended to help readers leave their stressful corporate desk job behind and enjoy a balanced, well-paid life. However, the book also hit a nerve with workers who wanted to stay in their jobs but were overwhelmed with the long hours and inefficient practices.

Employees were spending their days in back-to-back meetings that left them little time to complete the tasks and goals that were assigned during these meetings. Ferris recognized that organizations were equating productivity with the amount of time spent working and asked people to flip that thought process. He encouraged readers to strive for effectiveness by applying The Pareto Principle, a theory that says you should spend 20% of your time focusing on the tasks that will deliver 80% of the desired results.

While Ferris was writing about The Pareto Principle, companies like Marketo were creating marketing automation software that would make it possible to implement it on a larger scale. Empowering organizations with the ability to work more efficiently, and someday offer the benefit of free time that Ferris thought was only available to the independent worker.

Who’s Already Offering More Paid-Time-Off?

The Wall Street Journal writes about a Rheingans Digital Enabler, German tech consulting firm that initiated a 25-hour workweek in their article “The 5-Hour Workday Gets Put to the Test”. The company has stripped away distractions by banning social media use, only allowing staffers to check emails twice a day and discourages employees from casual conversations. While it may be an austere work environment, employees have gained almost twice the personal time.

The New York Times reports that a New Zealand estate management firm called Perpetual Guardian tried out a 4-day workweek. The company hired researchers from the Auckland University of Technology to study the impact this had on productivity and company culture. In the end, employees reported feeling more energized and happy to be at work. “Supervisors said the staff was more creative, their attendance was better, they were on time, and they didn’t leave early or take long breaks.”

Rheingans and Perpetual Guardian are great examples of companies that are rethinking their work culture. Organizations who adopt the belief that production is more important than presenteeism will lead the way in employee retention and attraction. Consider parlaying the time that marketing automation has given your company to join them.

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