This isn't a group benefits blog post. It's more of a work perk, culture, burnout, examining why society is clinging to a work structure that's no longer working. I suspect it has a lot to do with not wanting to change and internal bias. I did a blog post about risk and change that applies to this situation.
We’re at a space in time where the classic 9-5 is being revaluated. Are there better ways to work? One of the ways being tested around the world is the 4 days workweek. Most think of this as a 32 hour week, not 40 hours condensed into 4 days. But that is an option being tested and applied as well. There’s other ways to rethink the 9-5, flexible working hours is one. But here I recap some of the findings on the 4 day week.
Recently in the news was an update on the worlds largest trial of a 4-day workweek. Back in June over in the UK, over 3300 workers across 70 companies are taking part in the trial that gives workers 100% ay for logging 80% of their normal hours.
Previous to this, Unilever, Panasonic, and Microsoft all did their own trials with great success. Microsoft said it’s experiment saw productivity surge 40% Iceland famously trialed the 4 day workweek with over 2500 public sector workers and it was an overwhelming success. the results found that a reduction of working hours maintained or increased productivity across all sectors in the economy. The findings also indicated improved wellbeing and work-life balance among workers.
In 2018 a trial at Perpetual Guardian in New Zealand found engagement levels rose between 30 and 40 percent, work-life balance metrics rose by 44 percent, empowerment by 26 percent
Why try this?
4 Day Week Global is a not-for-profit community that provides a platform for people interested in supporting a 4 day week as part of the future of work. Some of their findings include
This doesn’t come without any headaches – you of course have change management to deal with. Beyond that, figuring out the best new scheduling pattern will take some trial and error. You also need to consider what to do with employees who were already working on a reduced schedule. You also have to balance the pressure to perform in a shorter amount of time and the ability to track productivity changes… or do you?
It’s also not a miracle fix. If burnout is a problem, it probably still will be. If you don’t address the core of the issue (in burnout’s case that’s complex – flexibility, feeling valued, the literal workload) a shorter work week won’t solve the problem.
If you do want to try this 4 Day Week Global recommends:
Here's the recap on the large study happening now from CTV News