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4 Day Week Global: Updates, Common Myths, and More

Published: Dec 15, 2023

 Salary & Benefits       
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The end of the year is right around the corner, and with the holiday season in full swing, we thought we’d present you with some nice updates from our friends at 4 Day Week Global. We’ll get into the results of the South African trial, common myths surrounding the four-day work week, and some tactics you can use to help raise awareness of the benefits of a four-day work week. If you’re unfamiliar with 4 Day Week Global, you can catch up by reading our previous coverage.

Last March, 4 Day Week Global began its South African four-day work week trial. The six-month trial consisted of twenty-eight South African businesses and one Botswanan business, equating to around 500 participating employees and business owners. Several industries were represented in the trial, including technology, finance, marketing, consulting, and fitness. Participants received 100% of their standard pay while working 80% of the time under the promise of maintaining their productivity.

4 Day Week Global partnered up with researchers at Boston College and Stellenbosch Business School in order to collect data from the trial, studying key areas such as stress levels, burnout potential, job satisfaction, sleep patterns, energy use, and overall health. The purpose of the trial is to shed light on the benefits of a four-day work week, such as better work/life balance, increased productivity, improved mental and physical health, reduced carbon emissions, and much more.

At the end of the trial, 92% of the participating companies stated that they plan to stay on track with a four-day work week, with many adding that they experienced a noticeable increase in employee satisfaction and overall well-being. Participating companies also reported increased business productivity and performance, and experienced a 10.5% increase in revenue on average. In addition to this, participating businesses observed an 11% average decrease in resignations, and a 9% average decrease in absenteeism throughout the trial.

Employees who participated in the South African trial were also surveyed. Of those who responded, 90% said they prefer the four-day work week paradigm, with 13% of respondents stating that no amount of money could convince them to go back to a five-day week. Annerike Meiring, HR Representative at participating company Elnatan said: “Our employees are more rested, productivity has increased, and customers have not experienced any difference in our quality of service.”

Indeed, the four-day work week is taking the world by storm, all thanks to 4 Day Week Global and its efforts. For those who have been following our coverage but are still on the fence about the four-day work week paradigm and its benefits, 4 Day Week Global has dispelled some common myths for you.

“I’ll take a pay cut.”

4 Day Week Global’s program ensures that participants receive 100% of their pay, even when working 80% of the time. The idea is to help companies work smarter by showing them that they can maintain, and even increase productivity under 4 Day Week Global’s “100-80-100” philosophy. The foundation of this philosophy is “100% of the pay for 80% of the time, in exchange for a commitment to delivering 100% of the output.”

“It only works in offices.”

When taking a surface-level look, it’s easy to assume that the four-day work week is only feasible in certain settings or industries; however, 4 Day Week Global has already held several successful six-month trials around the world, and each trial has included industries such as healthcare and hospitality, to just name a few. The point is, certain companies and industries might have to get creative about it, but the four-day work week can be implemented just about anywhere.

“Customer service will suffer.”

This common misconception plays into the idea that the four-day work week only works in offices and specific industries. Just because employees are only working four days a week doesn’t mean that a business has to remain closed three days in a row. In fact, staggered shifts can easily remedy this problem, ensuring that each employee is able to enjoy the benefits of a four-day work week.

Lastly, here are some tips to help you if you’re looking to talk to your boss about switching to a four-day work week. For starters, you should do some research into the benefits, along with the statistics of previously successful six-month trials in your industry. Next, identify any areas in which your company might need improvement. Is employee engagement low? Do you see a high employee turnover rate? In many cases, these types of issues can be solved by implementing a four-day work week paradigm.

It’s possible that your suggestion will be met with resistance, so make sure you have your ducks in a row. If you’re able to prove your case, your boss might consider a trial run of the four-day work week. It’s important to remember that knowledge is power, so the more positive examples you have, the better off you’ll be. To learn more about 4 Day Week Global, check out the official website. As always, we’ll provide updates as they become available, so be sure to check back often. 

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