Are Four-Day Work Weeks the Secret for Productivity?
A new experiment thinks so.
Summer Fridays, ah: That restorative, fleeting thing. But what if a four-day work week were the norm year-round?
A New Zealand trust and estate planning firm, Perpetual Guardian, decided to conduct an experiment. As Fast Company reported, CEO Andrew Barnes decided to give his employees either Wednesdays or Fridays off from work for eight weeks and track things like productivity and stress with the help of researchers at Auckland University of Technology. Worth noting: Workers continued to be paid for a full work-week.
At the end of the trial, the results were encouraging. Job satisfaction improved from its already healthy baseline, work-related stress dropped to 38% from 45%, employee commitment jumped from 68% to 88%. "They found their work more stimulating, had more confidence in the leadership team, and felt more empowered in their roles," Fast Company's Adele Peters writes of the project.
Now, Perpetual Guardian is working to make the abridged work-week the norm, hoping to address some bureaucratic dilemmas along the way.
We don't know about you, but we sure think bringing up this little experiment at our next staff meeting or forwarding the article around the office sounds like an excellent idea. Think of all the small-town three-day weekend getaways!