This last week has been 448 Studio’s first 4-day work week. The strategic reduction in hours is being trialled by companies all around the world and has seen great success in places like Iceland and New Zealand. Already our staff are flying high and seeing the benefits that the research has been telling us all along.
A 4-day work week gives me the perfect work-life balance and allows me to elevate my productivity to a whole new level. Being able to spend Friday how I want means that I'm more refreshed and ready to go come Monday morning! (Murray Beattie, 448 Project Manager)
As you can see above, there are so many benefits to shifting to a shorter working week. But don’t just take our word for it! Research has found that 70% of staff in the UK (where we already have the longest working hours in the whole of Europe) work over their contracted hours and more than half of employees are unhappy with the amount of free time they have. The 4-day work week however shifts the focus from simply being about how much time an employee spends at work, and places it on the actual output instead. As a result, trials have shown that the number of people feeling stressed at work has dropped from 43% to 24% and employees looking forward to work has increased from 77% to 88%.
A similar trial in Iceland involving 2500 employees has been considered an “overwhelming success”. 86% of the country’s workers are now working shorter hours or have been given the option to shorten them, and yet the trial found the productivity output either remained the same or in many cases, actually improved. There were less reports of burnout and stress, and employees said their work-life balance and wellbeing had hugely increased.
The four-day work week allows me to focus on my physical/mental health and social life. The effects of lockdown are still evident, and this new freedom allows me to make up for lost time and enjoy working life, something which I'm privileged to do. (Calum Brown, 448 Executive Assistant)
Of course, Covid has had a huge impact on how we go about our work from day to day, but one of the positive effects is that it has shown businesses that there is huge potential to adapt and change. On the less positive side, it has also contributed towards this “great global resignation wave” that we are facing. 4 Day Work Week Global’s pilot programme manager, Joe O’Connor believes however that “reduced working time” could be the key to solving this problem now that employees want more freedom as life slowly returns to normal.
This improved work-life balance means people have more time to spend with family and children (therefore less money is needed for childcare), and the improved morale leads to fewer sick days. Some organisations have even reported a 25% to 40% increase in productivity across the board!
We are excited to see how the 4-day work week impacts us over the next few months as the company grows as we strive for a healthy, happy team!