4-Day Workweek Pros and Cons: Companies Share Their Experiences
We are all familiar with the concept of the four-day workweek. Companies across the globe are testing the boundaries to find the ideal balance between employee satisfaction, productivity, and profitability. Governments take part by introducing measures to support businesses or make changes in the public sector as demonstrated by Belgium or Iceland.
All efforts are made to provide the benefits and drawbacks of a reduced workweek schedule. Companies such as Kickstarter, Bolt, Buffer or ThredUp which are independently practicing a 4-day workweek publish reports and blog posts and share their employee feedback. Autonomy, an independent research group from the UK, the primary driver of the 4 Day Week Campaign shares the collected data by the campaign to further help us understand the benefits of adopting this new schedule. We will go over some of the key findings provided by these groups and businesses.
Pros of a 4-Day Workweek?
Improved Mental And Physical Wellbeing
The Kickstarter company one of the first to try the 4-day workweek reports positive results after the schedule change. Staff members reported feeling more refreshed and inspired to come back to work each week. The company saw productivity gains resulting from staff members finding smarter ways to work. They sign off by adding that the staff members have also been using their Fridays off to pursue projects and experiences that they wouldn’t have been able to before.
Retained Productivity Levels And Increased Efficiency
Bolt shared the results of the three-month trial of four-day workweeks where 94% of employees surveyed expressed their desire for the program to continue, while 86% reported increased efficiency with their time. Managers reported that team productivity and service levels were maintained, confirming the original hypothesis that four days can be as effective as five. Consequently, the team is highly enthusiastic about the prospect of four-day work weeks.
More Family Time And Talent Retention
ThredUp has implemented a four-day workweek for their corporate salaried employees and distribution workers, allowing them more flexibility in their hours. According to feedback from the employees, this new schedule has provided them with greater equity to those who need to care for family members, those who wish to pursue passions outside of work, and those who simply need more time to relax. The policy has also resulted in increased productivity, decreased turnover, and higher morale among the employees.
The Cons of the 4-Day Workweek
Decreased Engagement Scores
The Buffer company moved to a four-day workweek two years ago. As per their recent survey, 91% of the team reported feeling happier and more productive with the change, and 73% reported only working four days a week. Additionally, 84% reported being able to get their work done in four days. However, the team has noticed decreased engagement scores, which Buffer believes is due in part to a lack of team-building activities. To combat this, they plan to increase the amount of intentional team-building activities.
In conclusion, the 4-day workweek is gaining momentum as businesses and governments around the world are realizing its potential. While there are potential drawbacks, the overall benefits far outweigh risks. Companies mentioned are leading the way with positive stories. As more organizations adopt this trend, we will be able to further understand the effects of a 4-day workweek.
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