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Four-day week translates into higher revenue, less absenteeism: Pilot project

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November 30, 2022
By Talent Canada


Photo: tippapatt/Adobe Stock

The four-day work week is translating into higher revenue, less absenteeism and stronger retention, according to new data from 4 Day Week Global.

Companies who gave their staff an extra day off per week, with no reduction in pay, experienced an average rise in revenue of 38 per cent, according to a post written by Charlotte Lockhart, founder of 4 Day Week Global.

The extra day off is so valuable that 70 per cent of workers said they’d need a pay increase, in the 10 per cent to 50 per cent range, to return to a 40-hour week. One in 10 said no amount of money would entice them back to a five-day workweek.

“Workers felt less stressed and burnt out, and reported higher rates of life satisfaction,” wrote Lockhart. “Findings also show significant declines in the duration and frequency of commuting, plus other positive environmental outcomes. None of the participating organizations are returning to a five-day week.”

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The data looked at 30 companies, with nearly 1,000 employees, across the United States, Ireland and Australia. These firms recently conducted a six-month, four-day week pilot program that was co-ordinated by 4 Day Week Global.

The health and well-being of participants also improved, according to Wen Fan, an associate professor at Boston College.

“A wide range of well-being metrics showed significant improvement, including stress levels, burnout, fatigue and work-family conflict. Physical and mental health also improved, alongside satisfaction across multiple domains of life which may be linked to people getting better sleep and more exercise,” she said.

Lead researcher, Professor Juliet Schor of Boston College, noted an important outcome. “We were encouraged that participants did not experience an increase in the intensity of work. This suggests that the work re-organization strategy succeeded and performance was not achieved via speedup, which is neither sustainable nor desirable,” she said.

Speaking about their experience on the trial, pilot participant Jon Leland, Chief Strategy Officer at crowd-funding platform Kickstarter said, “The 4 day week has been transformative for our business and our people. Staff are more focused, more engaged and more dedicated, helping us hit our goals better than before. Greater employee retention and faster hiring has been surprisingly powerful in driving improved business outcomes too. We’re achieving more as an organization, while giving people time to start new creative projects, rest, and be with their families. It’s a true win-win.”

Rod Lacey, Chief People Officer at software company simPRO added, “After transitioning to this new way of working, we found that by truly taking care of our employees, listening to them and showing them that their input and work is valued, it comes back to simPRO everyday by way of dedicated commitment, retention and exceptional customer service and support.”

For her part, Lockhart said the pilot was only the beginning.

“When our co-founder Andrew Barnes and I first witnessed the benefits of the 4 day week in 2018, we knew we had to share our learnings. The results laid out in this report further prove what we already know and we look forward to expanding this research over the coming months, as other organizations from a range of industries and economies make the switch to reduced-hour, output-focused working. Change is imminent and I commend all involved in this trial for making history happen,” she said.


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