The idea of a 4-day work week has gained traction in recent years as people search for ways to improve work-life balance and increase productivity. While there is no definitive answer to whether a 4-day work week could be more productive, evidence suggests that it could work for some organizations and industries.
A recent survey from the 4 Day Week Global Foundation, done through an international collaboration with researchers at Boston College, University College Dublin (Ireland) and Cambridge University (UK), found that the implementation of the 4-day work week model can bring more productivity even increase revenue.
The study conducted in 6 countries, including Canada, revealed some interesting findings on productivity, work-life balance and stress management. From the company side, the trial has been a success. The 4-day work week experiences provided by 27 companies (with 969 employees included in the study), included the following highlights:
- On a scale of 0-10, from very negative to very positive, the companies’ average rating for the trial is 9.0.
- When asked about how their overall company performance was affected by the trial, the average score was 7.6.
- When asked specifically about productivity, the companies reported a score of 7.7.
- Among the 27 companies, 18 are definitely continuing, 7 are planning to continue but haven’t made a final decision yet, 1 is leaning toward continuing, and 1 is not yet sure. None are leaning against or not planning on continuing.
From the employee side, the experience has been similarly successful.
- On a scale of 0-10, from very bad to very good, the average overall experience of the trial was 9.1.
- 97% of all the employees want to continue the trial.
- When asked to rate their current work performance compared to their lifetime best, the average score rose from 7.17 at baseline to 7.83 at the end of the trial.
- A wide range of well-being metrics showed significant improvement from the beginning to the end of the trial. Stress, burnout, fatigue, and work-family conflict all declined, while physical and mental health, positive affect, work-life balance, and satisfaction across multiple domains of life increased.
- Employees used their day off for hobbies, household work and personal grooming.
Download the complete report by the 4 Day Week Global Foundation here.
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In some industries this would work well and a 4 day work week would be welcome. In customer facing environments, cutting down a day of service to the public would not be looked upon favourably, as it would be an inconvenience to not be accessible for one more day a week. From an efficiency standpoint, it is definitely possible but there would have to be measures in place to ensure the same amount of productivity is happening in the 4 days as there was in the previous 5 day work week.2 months ago
Our office typically cuts to a 4 day workweek in summer, to allow for a better work-life balance. Prodctivity appears equal to–if not better than–when we’re in 5 day workweek mode.2 months ago
The idea is fantastic. It will be very difficult for some company to not working on Friday. In payroll specially it will be very difficult because on Friday there is payroll run date.2 months ago