Four-day work week pilot was a resounding success

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,566   +174
Staff member
In brief: Results from the world's first large-scale, independent study on a four-day work week are in and it seems to be a resounding success. Of the 33 companies that participated, 27 filled out a final survey sharing their experience with the project. On a scale of 0 (very negative) to 10 (very positive), when asked how they thought the trial affected their company overall, the mean response was 9.0. Productivity garnered a mean score of 7.7 and performance got a score of 7.6.

Starting in February 2022, Four Day Week Global (4DWG) initiated trials with dozens of companies and hundreds of employees across the US, Ireland and a few other countries to test a four-day work week.

To participate, companies had to promise not to reduce pay and to enact meaningful work time reduction. Most opted for a four day, 32-hour schedule with Friday off.

4DWG said 18 companies will definitely be continuing with the four-day work week and that an additional seven are planning to continue but haven't made a final decision yet. One participating company indicated leaning toward continuing and another was unsure yet. Notably, none said they were leaning against or not planning to continue.

On the employee side, an overwhelming 97 percent said they wanted to continue the trial. Several well-being metrics including stress, fatigue, burnout and work-family conflict all declined from the beginning to the end of the trial. What's more, physical and mental health improved.

Employees used their extra day off for household chores, hobbies and personal grooming, the report noted.

The four-day work week concept isn't new, but it has picked up significant momentum in recent years following the pandemic.

"As people struggle to recover from the pandemic, workplace stress, long hours and the pressures of daily life have emerged as urgent problems," 4DWG notes. The organization believes a shorter work week is the obvious response to all of this, and that it has the potential to bring social, economic and even climate benefits.

What are your thoughts on the four-day work week? Can employees be just as productive in four days as they are in five? How much of an impact did the pandemic have on this movement? Did society simply get too cozy with all that free time off during lockdowns? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below.

Image credit: SevenStorm, fauxels, Andrea Piacquadio

Permalink to story.

 

psycros

Posts: 4,546   +6,837
"As people struggle to recover from the pandemic, workplace stress, long hours and the pressures of daily life have emerged as urgent problems.."

And how are 12-hours shifts supposed to help with those long hours, exactly? There is absolutely nothing healthy about ONLY working, eating and sleeping for days on end. Furthermore, the lunatic who's willing to do it *more* than four days straight will be the one that moves ahead. All their doing is rolling us back to the days before employment laws.
 

madboyv1

Posts: 1,824   +759
"As people struggle to recover from the pandemic, workplace stress, long hours and the pressures of daily life have emerged as urgent problems.."

And how are 12-hours shifts supposed to help with those long hours, exactly? There is absolutely nothing healthy about ONLY working, eating and sleeping for days on end. Furthermore, the lunatic who's willing to do it *more* than four days straight will be the one that moves ahead. All their doing is rolling us back to the days before employment laws.
Where are you getting 12 hours from? from the article:
Most opted for a four day, 32-hour schedule with Friday off.
The only reference to a 12 hour work day I see is cuerdc's personal experience, which in itself is unfortunate, but at least it isn't 5 days in a row.
 

Lounds

Posts: 1,276   +1,233
My understanding of this is it will create more jobs as more people will have to be employed and thus governments will gain more tax income into their treasuries. I guess also more free time means more time spent on leisure and other activities that fund other jobs in the wider economy. It's probably a good idea that will boost overall growth of western economies. Work hard, play hard.
 

Rocky4040

Posts: 144   +174
Oh, wow talk about a lazy world now days. I do hope they also did not expect to make the same amount of money as they did when they were working a 5-day 40-hour week and with one day missing now only get 32 hours I do hope the companies involved were smart enough to not give in and give them same pay as for when they were working 40 hour 5-day weeks. I do know that if I was a boss and some employees want the same pay but work less hours, I would tell them to go get bent.

I currently work 6 days a week sometimes 7 and why do I do this mainly because I like having money.

 

bandit8623

Posts: 459   +251
4 days is fine as long as I get my 40 hours. 32 hours at the same pay would be a huge paycut.

10 hour days would be awesome. and save a day on car/gas money/time.

the issue for smaller companies is you have to have all 5 days coverage especially on product sales and operations.
 

BuckarooBonzaii

Posts: 188   +135
For 32 hours work, company policies are going to have to be changed in regards to benefits. Right now in general benefits are based on a 40 hour work week unless the World will scrap the 40 hours standard or work 10 hours for 4 days.
 

Watzupken

Posts: 756   +636
Let's be realistic here. The amount of work is the same, regardless of whether you have 7 days or 4 days in a week. So to achieve 4 days a week, you are cramming all your work for the week, into that 4 days. Nothing has changed here really. So where you used to work 8 hours flat each day for example, you need to be prepared to stretch longer hours. If you don't need to stretch, that means you have little work to do in the first place. Then the 4 days work week will work well, but still, you need to put in more effort in the 4 days.
 

bandit8623

Posts: 459   +251
Let's be realistic here. The amount of work is the same, regardless of whether you have 7 days or 4 days in a week. So to achieve 4 days a week, you are cramming all your work for the week, into that 4 days. Nothing has changed here really. So where you used to work 8 hours flat each day for example, you need to be prepared to stretch longer hours. If you don't need to stretch, that means you have little work to do in the first place. Then the 4 days work week will work well, but still, you need to put in more effort in the 4 days.
Hmm. The extra 8 hours at least in my line if work is useful. I can't cram that time in the 32 hours.. kinda sounds like you don't work very hard.
 

mbk34

Posts: 418   +323
I'm all for it, particularly if it creates more jobs. I'll admit I don't understand why companies would want to pay the same for a 32 hour week as a 40 but hey ho. What really threw me though, was having a day off for "personal grooming", how long does it take to brush your teeth?
 

Knot Schure

Posts: 410   +197
If the study had altered the pay too, I'd accept the results.

Otherwise, come work a 4-day week for me!

You will be paid exactly for four days.

Let us see if our company scores a 9...
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 540   +693
4 days is fine as long as I get my 40 hours. 32 hours at the same pay would be a huge paycut.

10 hour days would be awesome. and save a day on car/gas money/time.

the issue for smaller companies is you have to have all 5 days coverage especially on product sales and operations.
Well rarely are companies like these paying their employees by the hour... I'm sure they are talking about salary, which would be more pay per hour if dropping down to 32hr a week at same pay....

 

DZillaXx

Posts: 540   +693
I'm all for it, particularly if it creates more jobs. I'll admit I don't understand why companies would want to pay the same for a 32 hour week as a 40 but hey ho. What really threw me though, was having a day off for "personal grooming", how long does it take to brush your teeth?

Largely because the same amount of work is done. You think people in these roles are doing nothing but working full bore? They spend half the day friday watching cat videos🤣

This doesn't work for companies that need to work 5 business days, as that is what their clients demand. If you are a contractor, electrical for example, not working on a Friday is not an option. Every other trade is working that Friday, construction doesn't stop. If the electrician wasn't on site every Friday on a large project, the plant wouldn't be very happy. In this work force being happy isn't going to get more **** done in 4 days vs 5.


That being said I'm a controls engineer, I normally work 8-10hr days, 5 days a week. But when it comes to commissioning I could easily work 70hrs in a week or two. This happens a handful of times in a year... Its not a job for everyone. I find that most people are pansies when it comes to waking up early. Being to work around 7am seems hard for people I guess, god forbid 6. I'm normally home between 4-5pm every day. I have plenty of wind down time.

My biggest issue is not wanting to stop working. I get so focused on what I'm doing forcing myself to stop can be an issue. Especially when I'm working on something big. luckily for myself I set my own hours, I chose to work the hours I do.
 

madboyv1

Posts: 1,824   +759
4 days is fine as long as I get my 40 hours. 32 hours at the same pay would be a huge paycut.

10 hour days would be awesome. and save a day on car/gas money/time.

the issue for smaller companies is you have to have all 5 days coverage especially on product sales and operations.
I too would be fine with 10hr work days if it was to enjoy a 4 day work week.

As for the issue of coverage, I imagine companies moving to a 4 day schedule will do what the service industry already does in many instances; staggered or shifted scheduling.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 8,400   +7,820
Oh, wow talk about a lazy world now days. I do hope they also did not expect to make the same amount of money as they did when they were working a 5-day 40-hour week and with one day missing now only get 32 hours I do hope the companies involved were smart enough to not give in and give them same pay as for when they were working 40 hour 5-day weeks. I do know that if I was a boss and some employees want the same pay but work less hours, I would tell them to go get bent.

I currently work 6 days a week sometimes 7 and why do I do this mainly because I like having money.
Maybe you like doing nothing but working and that's fine. When I was an hourly worker, I would work 64-hours a week for the same reason as you - money. I was much younger then and had few personal interests outside of work.

However, maybe they were a part of this study, but other studies indicate the exact same thing. For instance, https://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-4-day-work-week-boosts-productivity-2019-11 And if you call the fact this and other studies show increased productivity is being what you define as lazy, then I question your definition of lazy.

What this is about is a balance between work life and personal life. IF you have children, then would spending more time with your children make you happier? Would you like more personal time to explore your hobbies and other interests? Is there anything that you would like to do but cannot because you spend so much time working?

I suspect that because people are happier, due to having more time to spend doing what makes them happy, is the main reason behind the increased productivity, and at least in my book, increased productivity is far from being "lazy."
 

Kam7r

Posts: 163   +336
For 32 hours work, company policies are going to have to be changed in regards to benefits. Right now in general benefits are based on a 40 hour work week unless the World will scrap the 40 hours standard or work 10 hours for 4 days.
the world already scrapped it, here in the EU and most of the world your "benefits" that we call -> "rights" are not tied to your job....or anything, you just have them for being alive and a citizen...
 

Kam7r

Posts: 163   +336
The only quantifiable unit who have real value is not money... but the time... hope someday more ppl will understand this
 

Gastec

Posts: 294   +155
Is that picture of ladies and gents staring at BSODs representative of the new, progressive and inclusive increased 4DWG productivity?
 

Gastec

Posts: 294   +155
Maybe you like doing nothing but working and that's fine. When I was an hourly worker, I would work 64-hours a week for the same reason as you - money. I was much younger then and had few personal interests outside of work.

However, maybe they were a part of this study, but other studies indicate the exact same thing. For instance, https://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-4-day-work-week-boosts-productivity-2019-11 And if you call the fact this and other studies show increased productivity is being what you define as lazy, then I question your definition of lazy.

What this is about is a balance between work life and personal life. IF you have children, then would spending more time with your children make you happier? Would you like more personal time to explore your hobbies and other interests? Is there anything that you would like to do but cannot because you spend so much time working?

I suspect that because people are happier, due to having more time to spend doing what makes them happy, is the main reason behind the increased productivity, and at least in my book, increased productivity is far from being "lazy."
I for one don't beleive a word about that "increased" productivity. A lazy worker in a 5-day work week will still be lazy in a 4-day work week. They should just call it for what it is: they want to work less for the same, or more, amount of money.