No More Fridays – A Real-World Experiment Just Proved Four-Day Workweek Is Effective

Chisom Ndianefo
Close-up shot of a lady working
Shutterstock | 1998197

The most convincing evidence for the switch to a four-day workweek comes from a six-month trial that started in February 2022 and involved 33 companies with employees in six countries, reducing their workload to four days, or 32 hours, a week.

Keep reading to find out more.

Mind-Blowing Development

This is a mind-blowing development that would put workers in the best moods. The actual experiment, which 4 Day Week Global ran, tested whether workers could produce just as much work 80% of the time while still earning the same wage.

Favorable Results

A group of people in a meeting
Unsplash | Austin Distel

The results were overwhelmingly favorable: Participating businesses reported growing sales, bettering employee health and happiness, and positively affecting the environment.

Why A Four-Day Work Week Is Healthy

This is the best proof that your efforts to convince your boss to switch to a four-day workweek will be successful. The new report's findings were crystal clear: a four-day workweek was healthier for everyone.

Some Companies Had Doubt

Employees at Soothing Solutions, an Irish firm that manufactures children's cough lozenges in Dundalk, were skeptical about the feasibility of a four-day workweek at the commencement of the trial.

A Method To Attract Workers

Employees collaborating
Unsplash | Mimi Thian

However, Sinad Crowther and Denise Lauaki, the founders, had big expectations. The founders of the business, who started it in 2017, wanted to create a people-focused culture, so when Crowther discovered the 4 Day Week program, she saw it as a method to draw in and keep employees.

The Trial Has Helped Keep Their Staff

No employees have left Soothing Solutions since the company's first hires were made last year, and Crowther told me the anecdotal feedback regarding the four-day workweek had been so overwhelmingly positive that it nearly brought her to tears.

Job Of Convenience

A meeting board
Unsplash | Campaign Creators

One of the Soothing Solutions employees explained how the job allowed her to spend three to four days a week with her elderly mom, who was terminally sick. Nothing, she claimed, could return that time to her. She would not have had to perform that task in any other work.

Crowther mentioned that one more employee had the opportunity to indulge her love of photography during her free time, adding, "It turns out she's a terrific photographer!"

Gaining Grounds

Following the Great Resignation and employee pressure to reconsider our working practices, the four-day-week movement has been gaining ground. In 2021, the tech startup Bolt became the first unicorn to test it; it was so well received that it was put into practice within three months.

Success has also been achieved in trials of shorter weeks: Positive outcomes were reported in a trial conducted in Iceland in 2021, and a 2019 study by Henley Business School discovered that employee productivity rose in two-thirds of companies using a four-day workweek.

The Less Work-Week Trend Is Not New

The ongoing campaign to implement a four-day workweek is not the first attempt to alter the established workplace structure. The typical US workweek was six days long until 1926. Then, Henry Ford changed the length of the workweek at his company to five days. He thought that giving workers an extra day off would boost output and allow them more free time to spend money, ideally on Ford automobiles.

Great For Start-Ups

A start-up
Unsplash | Annie Spratt

The shift became popular, and workers organized to support it. The Fair Labor Standards Act was amended in 1940 to establish the current requirement of a 40-hour workweek. Today, our norms seem ready for change once more.

The little firm, which has 20 employees, has greatly benefited from the new strategy, which is crucial. Rent a Recruiter doubled its gross profits during the six-month trial period and estimated that the productivity of its workforce also doubled during that time, even though it wasn't the primary driver.

Helped Increase Revenue

A chart
Unsplash | Georgia de Lotz

Although employee satisfaction and retention are crucial, the experiment was also linked to increased revenue for the participating businesses. The cumulative revenue for the 16 companies in the study that submitted revenue data increased by 8.14%, weighted by size. For several companies, this was almost 40% greater than revenue growth during the same six-month period.

Why Adopt A Four Day Work-Week

A four-day workweek may be adopted for business reasons, such as increased income or improved employee well-being, but there may also be less evident advantages.

Benefits Of A Fewer Work Time

For starters, fewer hours worked are associated with reduced carbon emissions since fewer individuals commute and fewer enterprises consume electricity. Participants in the 4-Day Week study discovered that their commute time was cut by an hour. And as lead researcher for the 4 Day Week study and an environmental sociologist at University College Dublin, Orla Kelly, reminded me the shorter workweek also encourages more pro-environmental decisions.

The New Best Thing

Although it is doubtful that everyone will go to a four-day workweek overnight, the trial showed that, provided they are willing, many different types of organizations could make the switch. The four-day workweek might be a relatively easy solution as businesses struggle to lure and keep employees. There aren't many reasons not to try it out now, especially after the most recent trial.

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