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Health

Boss switches company to a four-day workweek with no pay cut and productivity stayed the same

Staff is 'loving it' and there's 'no way' the company is going back.

4-day workweek, andrew barnes, 4 day week global

Co-workers high five because they have Friday off.

There are a lot of great benefits to companies adopting the four-day workweek. Studies show it can help employees, the bottom line and the environment. That’s why companies across the globe have been flirting with the idea to see if they can pull it off without jeopardizing productivity.

One of the most significant benefits of switching to the four-day workweek is that it increases the availability of talent because more people want to work for companies that give them a 72-hour weekend.

Companies with four-day workweeks often don’t see a loss in productivity because there is a tipping point where as employees work more hours, their productivity decreases because they suffer from burnout.



Andrew Barnes of 4 Day Week Global.

via Wikimedia Commons

Finally, if four-day workweeks are widely adopted it would be great for combating climate change. A report by the University of Massachusetts Amherst found that a 10% reduction in work hours could result in “drops in ecological footprint, carbon footprint and carbon dioxide emissions by 12.1%, 14.6% and 4.2%, respectively.”

In 2018, businessman and founder of New Zealand trust company Perpetual Guardian Andrew Barnes created 4 Day Work Global, a nonprofit organization that studied the effects of taking an extra day off each week.

“We recognized well before the pandemic that the five-day week is no longer fit for purpose, and as we trialed and studied the four-day week it became clear that this is a necessary part of the solution to restore climate balance, among many other documented benefits,” Barnes told 7 News.

The results of 4 Day Work Global’s first trial were overwhelmingly positive. Forty-six percent of companies said productivity was the same, 34% reported a slight improvement and 15% said it was “significantly” better. Overall, 88% of companies said they are likely to continue the four-day workweek after the end of the trial.

Intrigued by 4 Day Work Global’s findings, Denis Moriarty, founder of Our Community, an Australian social enterprise, switched his company to a four-day workweek in August and he’s over the moon with the results.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, his staff is happier and still 100% productive.

via Unsplash

“They're loving it. They've got their lives back,” he told Daily Mail. “It's been good for the workplace, good for employees and the company. There is no way we will go back to five days.”

What’s interesting about the experiment is that the employees are paid the same amount to work 20% fewer hours and are just as productive. The company was able to accommodate the same work in less time by shortening its meetings and because the employees are better rested. Some companies that have switched to the four-day workweek have added more hours to the average day to even things out, but Moriarty won’t be doing that any time soon.

“I don't think you should be calling it a 4-day workweek if you cram more hours in those four days,” he said.

The five-day workweek has been the standard for most workers for around 100 years. Over that time, the work we do has changed drastically. So, isn’t it about time that we reevaluate our work habits as well?

Photo by Jacopo Maia on Unsplash

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