The constant challenge in the business world is to stay innovative and adaptive. Finding new ways to do things and stay productive, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic caused some businesses to go out of business, and some others to soar to high success. But one interesting development from the pandemic is the introduction of the four-day workweek, and findings from current research suggest that its positive effects may become the future of the workplace.
A Revolutionary Pilot
In a study recently published by the advocacy group 4 Day Week Global (click here to view their site), the organization conducted a six-month pilot of a four-day workweek in 2022. This pilot included 61 companies in the UK, for-profit and non-profit, who went through a two-month preparation for the trial; this included support systems, such as workshops, coaching, and mentoring from companies who have implemented this successfully. It should be noted that each company had flexibility with designing the work week in accordance with what would work best for their company; the only requirement was that “…pay was maintained at 100% and employees had a ‘meaningful’ reduction in work time.”
The Groundbreaking Results
So…what were the results? See for yourself:
- 92% of companies that participated in the trial (56 out of 61) are continuing with the four-day week, with 18 confirming the policy is a permanent change.
- 71% of employees had reduced levels of burnout at the end of the trial.
- 60% of employees found an increased ability to combine paid work with care responsibilities
- 62% of employees reported it easier to combine work with social life.
- 54% of employees said it was easier to balance work with household jobs
- 39% of employees were less stressed
And don’t miss this:
the trial reported an average of 35% increase in revenue and 57% decrease in turnover when the six-month trial period was compared to a prior six-month period in the company.
The facts seem to speak for themselves, but begs the question: what comes next? 4 Day Week is very forthcoming with its mission: enabling every company to adopt a four-day work week. And many companies are doing just that. Top companies such as Panasonic, thredUP, and Kickstarter are some of the few that have adopted the four-day workweek. But others are cautious about this approach. With issues such as rising manufacturing needs, how four-day workweeks would apply to parents/teachers, and turning 8-hour days into 10-hour days, there are some problems with a four-day workweek.
A Change for the Future?
Regardless of the potential disadvantages of a four-day workweek, it is refreshing to see that companies are welcoming innovative ways to further their business and take care of employees. 4 Day Week emphasizes that it’s not a “one size fits all” model and that there is some flexibility involved.
But in light of the criticisms of a four-day workweek, Andrew Barnes, CEO of Perpetual Guardian (4 Day Week Global’s parent company), reaffirms the true mission of a four-day workweek: “It’s not just having a day off a week – it’s about delivering productivity, meeting customer service standards, meeting personal and team business goals and objectives.”
About the Author
Danielle Rondinelli is a senior at Anderson University, pursuing a Bachelor’s in Marketing, and plans to graduate in December 2023. She has been working at BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC as a Communications Specialist for the Body Shop since October 2022. When she’s not in between classes or at work, Danielle enjoys spending time with friends and hanging out with her beagle-basset hound, Buddy. To learn more about Danielle, connect with her on LinkedIn.
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