February 21, 2023

4-Day Workweeks: Here's Why Some Companies Hope Permanent Long Weekends Will Boost Bottom Lines

Excerpt from the Forbes article:

"The idea of a four-day workweek gained popularity after the Covid-19 pandemic led many people to push for more flexible work arrangements. Proponents say four-day workweeks increase employee well-being without sacrificing productivity. Director and co-founder of the Work Time Reduction Center Of Excellence Joe O’Connor tells PBS companies can cut work hours and maintain productivity by fixing time-wasters like overlong meetings, inefficient processes and other workplace distractions. O’Connor also argues that incentivizing workers with longer weekends increases the quality of efficiency of their work. The evidence, supporters say, is borne out in countries around the world. Iceland conducted multiple tests reducing work hours to 35 or 36 a week between 2015 and 2019, and found productivity stayed constant or improved in the majority of participating companies. Now, 86% of Iceland’s employees work fewer hours for the same pay. In Japan, Microsoft reported a 40% increase in productivity after giving employees five consecutive Fridays off in 2019. Four-day workweeks haven’t been widely adopted by U.S. employers, but a handful in the United States and abroad have tried offering employees fewer hours. Some of the most well-known include e-commerce company Bolt, real-world scavenger hunt creator GooseChase, fundraising platform Kickstarter and tech giant Panasonic. Other companies implement a modified version of a four-day workweek–cyber startup DNSFilter has 32-hour weeks every other week."

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