The four day work week is back in the news as a huge trial is on in the UK with 73 companies part of a pilot where for six months they reduce their employees’ work hours to 32 hours a week, but continue to pay them the same salary as before. Although the study is not complete yet, initial feedback is positive with productivity gains noticed and 86 per cent saying they will continue with the four-days a week model.
Meanwhile, in the US , San Francisco based company Poll Everywhere too has been experimenting with the four-day work week. It has got detailed feedback and insights from company-wide surveys, statistical analyses, and employee discussions into what worked, what did not work, and what needed to be addressed.
There was a huge improvement in overall employee wellbeing. Many workers reported feeling more energised and creative after a longer weekend. And they could easily complete their weekly workloads in the four days. The most interesting insight from the Poll Everywhere experiment, however, was that when the four-day work week was shortened to three days, stress and anxiety increased and a big dip in productivity.
With the FIFA world cup kicking off in Qatar, HR departments all over the world are gearing up for disruptions in work. With hybrid work on at many places, HR leaders fear that employees will be glued to the screens watching football action rather than working. Smart companies are insisting on leave requests in advance.