Years ago, if suggested We’d all work remotely, you’d joke. Until Covid-19 came along, working over eight hours, five days a week was the norm. Then, the unimaginable occurred. Companies despatched their staff out of the workplace and instructed them to work remotely. What sounded like a wild notion to CEOs became universally successful. Once individuals experienced the freedom of not having to travel two hours a day and being bound to a cubicle, they didn’t want to go back to the pre-pandemic period.
I recently talked at length with Andrew Barnes, the founder of New Zealand-based financial services business Perpetual Guardian, and his partner, Charlotte Lockhart, about their quest to encourage enterprises to modify the standard workweek to just four days. Barnes previously introduced a four-day workweek at his firm. The results were so encouraging that Barnes began onto a push to convince other firms to join him.
Barnes and Lockhart are at the vanguard of the four-day workweek movement. This group of visionaries founded the 4 Day Week Global Foundation to fund work-life balance research projects. The objective is to develop a worldwide coalition leading enterprises toward the adoption of a four-day workweek.
The pair pointed out that last year broke the concept of individuals having to journey into the workplace every single day. It’s high time that we face other work taboos as well. Along with the four-day workweek, the movement’s two founders assert that businesses may be creative and inventive. Work in the post-pandemic future may also feature four- or five-hour workdays, half days, staggered flexible schedules in which individuals arrive and depart according to their lifestyle demands, as well as hybrid and remote models.
Aziz Hasan, CEO of crowdsourcing site Kickstarter, is one of the pilot program’s initial signatories. “Kickstarter has a history of tackling office design deliberately. We regard trying a four-day workweek as a continuation of that spirit and goal as we develop a flexible future,” Hasan said in a business statement.
Many companies and countries have tried the four-day workweek. Microsoft Japan tested a four-day workweek. called “Work-Life Choice Challenge 2019 Summer,” in which the company allowed its 2,300 employees to “choose from a variety of flexible work styles, depending on their work and personal circumstances.” The goal of management was to determine whether a reduction in hours would result in an increase in productivity and morale. The experiment’s findings were extraordinarily positive—indicating that employees were both happier and 40% more productive.
Spain recently declared an experimental four-day workweek. Spain’s government agreed to a 32-hour workday over a three-year period without reducing employees’ compensation. According to The Washington Post, “the trial program is meant to mitigate companies’ risk by having the government cover the income gap when employees convert to a four-day schedule.”
Sanna Marin, Finland’s prime minister, campaigned on reducing people’s work hours. Marin proposed at a panel discussion before to becoming Prime Minister that businesses adopt a flexible six-hour day and/or a four-day workweek. “I feel that individuals deserve more time with their family, loved ones, hobbies, and other facets of life, such as culture,” she said. This may be the next step in our careers.”
Unilever, a major consumer products firm based in London, has previously conducted a four-day workweek experiment. The multinational food and consumer goods conglomerate picked New Zealand as the test-case site. This research is a logical extension of the company’s experimentation with various forms of work and life accommodations. Employees will be rewarded for a full five days, despite the fact that they will labor for just four. “We hope that the experiment will result in Unilever being the first worldwide firm to adopt methods of working that give demonstrable advantages to employees and the business,” said Nick Bangs, managing director of Unilever in New Zealand.
The 4 Day Week Global team is organizing a global coalition of corporate leaders, academics, researchers, and writers committed to advancing the productivity-focused flexible work paradigm. The initiative has already garnered widespread support from organizations such as United for a Fair Economy, African American Ministers in Action, climate activist Bill McKibben, and economist Dean Baker.
To demonstrate your support for the campaign, here is what supporters of the four-day workweek have to say about the movement:
Employees And Workers Can Participate
Sign the petition, share it with your network, or make a donation to help more companies transition to a four-day workweek. Click here to visit gad capital for free
How Entrepreneurs, Employers, And Business Leaders Can Participate
Contact 4 Day Week Global to learn more about adopting the four-day workweek; sign and share the petition; commit to trialing the four-day workweek and moving toward it; or give to help the transition of more companies to a four-day workweek.
Why A Four-Day Workweek Is Beneficial To Humanity
A shorter workweek results in more family time and better mental and physical health. With an additional day for “life,” we’re more likely to relax, exercise, arrange health appointments, enjoy the outdoors, build a family, play with our children, and care for our elders—all without jeopardizing our wages or professions.
Leaders who implement a shortened workweek immediately see these benefits: staff are more engaged, take fewer sick days, and suffer less burnout. According to a 2021 Harvard Business Review worldwide poll, 89 percent of respondents stated that their work lives were deteriorating, 85 percent reported decreased levels of well-being, and 62% reported experiencing burnout during the pandemic.
How It Benefits Business
Thousands of businesses are presently exploring or have permanently embraced a reduced-hour workweek, benefitting everyone from auto workers and wait staff to engineers and attorneys. Employers claim better productivity, increased talent acquisition and retention, and, in certain cases, decreased overhead. Additionally, a reduced workweek allows people to learn new abilities that they may utilize on the job.
The Arguments for Why It Is Beneficial To Society
A society where people spend less time “on the clock” implies that they spend more time in their communities. According to studies, individuals who work four-day weeks often volunteer with their faith-based groups, contribute to food banks, assist neighbors, support small businesses, and engage in local concerns. Additionally, four-day workweeks are more gender balanced. Reduced-hour schedules assist caregivers, particularly working moms, and women with four-day workweeks find their workplace more flexible and equal.
How It Contributes To The Environment’s Well-Being
Reduce commuting and our global carbon impact by shortening the workweek. On an average weekend day, 17% of Americans travel fewer miles than on an average workday. By adding a third weekend day, the United States would cut carbon emissions by 45 million metric tons—more than the combined emissions of Oregon and Vermont. Additionally, parents discover that they have more time to prepare meals, which results in better food choices and less waste.