More Companies Set To Use A Four-Day Work Week?
A global pilot program that tested the effectiveness of a four-day work week has found that it’s beneficial for business. After reporting increased revenue, with fewer employees taking time off or resigning, none of the participating companies are leaning towards or planning on returning to their old, longer routines. Additionally, 97% of the employees who were included in the survey said they wanted to continue with the shorter week.
Created by 4 Day Week Global, most of the companies involved in the trial were based in the United States, Ireland, and Australia. Those responding rated their overall experience of the four-day work week as 9/10, based on productivity and performance. Employee feedback was positive too, reporting lower levels of stress, fatigue, insomnia, and burnout. Improvements in their physical and mental health were also noted, the study found.
The four-day work week, which was trialed for six months, was also good for company earnings. Revenue rose by more than a percentage point each month, with a total increase of 8% during the trial. When compared to the same period in 2021, it rose by 38%. The nonprofit organization collaborated with researchers at Boston College, University College Dublin, and Cambridge University for the survey.
It was split into two groups, beginning in February and April this year. Speaking about the trial, Professor Juliet Schor of Boston College said they were encouraged that participants did not experience an increase in the intensity of work. This suggests that the four-day work week re-organization strategy succeeded and performance was not achieved by speeding up, which is not sustainable or desirable.
Chief Strategy Officer for Kickstarter, who participated in the trial, described the experience as a true win. “The four-day week has been transformative for our business and our people,” he said via CNN Business. He added that employees are more focused, more engaged, and more dedicated. This helped his company to hit its goals better than before.
A separate four-day work week trial in the United Kingdom, also run by 4 Day Week Global, was completed this month. The results from that six-month trial, which included 70 companies and 3,300 workers, are due in February 2023. Earlier this year, participating workers said the extra day off had changed their lives for the better. They had more time to run errands, take up hobbies, and simply recharge.
Calls to shorten the traditional work week have gained momentum in recent years as millions of employees switched to remote work during the pandemic. The four-day work week also highlights another ongoing discussion among economists regarding GDP. While it has long been used as the ultimate measure of progress, a country is much more than its gross domestic product.
Hopefully, the non-profit study’s success in implementing a four-day work week will be enough to convince business and policy leaders to redistribute some of the gains in GDP. Especially since our most precious commodities are time and quality of life. In terms of health and wellness, that would be real progress.