A four-day work week is… work.
That’s the message of high-profile companies shifting to a four-day work week in a pilot program run by the nonprofit 4 Day Week Global. A survey released on Tuesday found that 78% of leaders of more than 70 UK companies said their transition was good or “seamless”. Only 2% found it challenging. The majority (88%) said the four-day schedule worked well.
The idea of a four-day work week is no joke.California legislator Plans for some employees to work a four-day week statewide were recently considered and shelved.a survey Gartner Inc. found that a shorter week was a popular recruiting and retention tactic.
A six-month pilot program is currently underway in six countries involving more than 180 companies. Employers will typically transition to a 32/4 workweek (varies by role and industry) without pay cuts.exist british pilot, midway through a survey of executives at companies with 3,300 employees.The plan is related to 4 day week event and think tanks autonomyand a data collection partnership between researchers at Boston College, Cambridge and Oxford Universities.
Nearly all participating UK organisations (86%) said they were likely to keep the four-day schedule after the pilot ended in November. Nearly half (49%) say productivity has increased, while 46% say it has remained stable.
“It’s very encouraging to see that,” said Joe O’Connor, chief executive of 4 Day Week Global, who had expected organizations to show more consistent output. “If productivity stayed the same, we would consider it a huge productivity success.”
Pilot studies are continuing in the UK, US, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland and Canada.
O’Connor said not all organizations that started trials have completed them. About one in five employers quit, and more than half were in the pre-planning stage. Executives who conducted the pilot study said they faced the dual challenge of overcoming the five-day norm for employees and the industry, as well as eliminating the daunting task of improving workflows to get the same output in four days.
When companies exit at the planning stage, “the main reason is that leadership overthinks and backs down,” O’Connor said. “They start trying to address every possible issue or problem before actually running the trial, which is impossible because many of the productivity gains and process improvements are team-led.”
He also reported on the difficulties encountered in companies with a culture of mistrust between leaders and employees.
“They think they have an open, bottom-up style of decision-making, but that may not actually be the case,” he said.
Growing pains are part of the process.
“It wasn’t a walk in the park at first, but it never changed significantly,” said Nicci Russell, the company’s managing director Waterwise, a nonprofit focused on reducing water consumption. “We all have to work hard – things like annual leave make everything harder. But the team is happy and of course we all love an extra day at the office.”
Once on a four-day schedule, struggling companies are often very small, and in fields that require five- or seven-day shifts, this requires precise scheduling among a small number of employees.Gift Company bookwormFor example, continue to adjust staffing during busy times.
Organizations also forgo shortened schedules when faced with unexpected changes, such as new leadership or financial changes.Participants in the UK trial span industries such as education, media, hospitality and healthcare, including Charity BankSupply Chain Transparency Company foreverCustomer Communication Platform Secure Digital Exchangeand Royal Society of Biology.
O’Connor learned that when the company no longer needed him, everything would work out.
“They really need us in the early stages,” he said. “When the demand to contact us is down, it means they’re getting the job done.”
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