Companies with a 4-day workweek are increasing. When you visualize a full-time job, you probably picture yourself working forty hours a week—eight hours per day, five days a week. This work schedule has been the benchmark for over a century.
But the work environment is evolving. Due to the pandemic, the demand for greater work-life balance and the requirement for greater flexibility is increasing. Both businesses and employees are redefining what "full-time work" entails, which has increased companies with a 4-day workweek.
Evolution of companies with a 4-day workweek
Although the notion of working fewer hours may seem radical, society has modified the number of hours worked. The majority of workers in the Industrial Revolution put in between 80 and 100 hours per week, six days a week, between 12 and 16 hours per day.
Around 1926, when Henry Ford made the 40-hour, five-day workweek widely accepted. As a result of the workers' productivity remaining constant, it started as an experiment at a few facilities in July 1926. It turned into corporate policy by September of that same year.
Today, many companies with a four-day workweek feel they may provide the same advantages that Ford experienced. Even websites that only list companies with a four-day workweek exist. Reduced hours increase productivity and result in significant savings on hiring costs and overtime pay.
Do employees prefer companies with a 4-day workweek?
80% of American respondents who had recently quit their jobs between the ages of 22 and 35 supported companies with a four-day workweek. Notably, if this work arrangement had been an option, 32% of them would have kept their jobs.
Another survey showed higher support for companies with a four-day workweek:
- 4% prefer a four-day workweek
- 90% find the five-day workweek irrelevant
- 97% believe that a four-day workweek increases productivity
- 98% think that their mental health will be better in a four-day workweek company
Employees are willing to do the following for companies with a four-day workweek
- Give up unlimited paid vacation time. (38%)
- Give up free healthcare given by the employer (43%)
- Working an additional 2 hours per day (58%)
List of Companies with a 4-day workweek
Below is a list of companies with a four-day workweek. You will also find some details about the 'companies' workweek policy.
1. Atom Bank
Atom Bank announced in November 2021 that it would transition its 430+ employees to a four-day, 34-hour workweek with either Monday or Friday off without a pay cut.
CEO Mark Mullen told the BBC that the epidemic, bettering well-being, and staff retention were the driving forces behind the decision:
"Before Covid, the conventional wisdom was you had to commute in, sit at a desk all day and repeat that process when you commuted home. Covid showed us that it wasn't necessary…I think doing 9-5, Monday to Friday is a pretty old-fashioned way of working."
They started using the work-from-home strategy ten years ago and are today setting the standard with a four-day summer workweek. Basecamp is another example of companies with a 4-day workweek. It offers goods and services that aid in streamlining communication and boosting productivity for other businesses.
The first tech unicorn, Bolt, a $4 billion finance business, has officially switched to a 4-day workweek. By creating a new standard for online purchasing and selling, Bolt is on a mission to democratize commerce. Bolt-powered experiences level the playing field in commerce so that shops of all sizes can sell more, expand more quickly, and take charge of their fate.
The founder of Bolt, Ryan Breslow, stated that the staff needed to "work like a lion, not a cow"; therefore that's why they switched to a 4-day workweek. Despite fewer hours worked, Bolt has noticed an increase in production and a decrease in employee stress.
Calibre is also part of the companies with a 4-day workweek. It focuses on creating software for automated page speed testing, reporting, alerting, and monitoring. For expert teams, it offers all-in-one web performance monitoring.
The four-day workweek was initially implemented by Calibre in May 2020 as a test in response to the escalating COVID pandemic. The initial test was conducted for five months, ending in November 2020. The business made the decision to go to a four-day workweek permanently in June 2021.
Carbon Switch also implemented the 4-day workweek. It also provides a competitive healthcare plan and four weeks of paid vacation.
For IT specialists and managed service providers, DNSFilter provides cloud-based threat protection and web content filtering, as well as a global start-up accelerator geared toward assisting entrepreneurs. They started offering remote positions in October 2021 and established an every-other-week, three-day weekend policy.
Diesdas.digital is a 25-person creative studio in Berlin-Kreuzberg. They focus on digital initiatives ranging from brand planning to digital product development.
Since there are no set working hours, you are free to work whenever you want and take breaks as long as your immediate team is on board. At the end of the week, this totals 38 hours (if you work five days) or 32 hours (if you work four days).
Elephant Ventures is another example of companies with a 4-day workweek. It offers a condensed workweek. They specialize in software and data engineering. Ten-hour workdays are required of all employees from Monday through Thursday.
"Fridays we are off, and we are trying to encourage pencils down, no emails or Slack. We want to really hold the time open,"- Art Shectman
According to CEO and co-founder Barry Patel, Galt is switching to a four-day workweek to allow staff more time to "recharge batteries and dedicate to the self and family."
Headspace, one of the earliest meditation applications in the world with more than 65 million users, is still a pioneer in mindfulness and mental exercise. It is available in 190 countries.
Every other week, Headspace employees work a four-day week. On Fridays when they do work, there are no meetings. Every employee is urged to take Friday off, designated as a "Mind Day," for their mental well-being.
After five years in business, InDebted announced on September 15, 2021, that they would switch to a four-day workweek (4DWW), while still guaranteeing that customer service would be available around the clock, every day of the week.
MeiliSearch is part of a family of companies with a 4-day workweek. Friday is a "free day," according to Morgane Neff, HR manager at MeiliSearch:
"There is no responsibility to work or not to work, which can be a helpful way to lessen any productivity-related pressure we might feel. Nobody is questioned about whether they worked on Fridays. There are only two laws in existence:
- On Fridays, no internal meetings may be planned.
- Friday must be requested when asking for time off for one or more full weeks."
A 4-day workweek was tried by MRL Consulting Group, a global specialist recruitment firm for high niche technology and financial industries, starting on May 13. When the findings came in by December, MRL made the switch to a four-day workweek permanently without altering pay or benefits for employees.
Regarding the advantages, MRL stated:
"Six months later, we have a 25% improvement in productivity, a higher average charge, and a 40% decrease in short-term absences. Three-quarters of the team say they find it simpler to concentrate at work, and the discussion starter — retention — is at a record high for MRL of 95%. The four-day workweek has a strong business rationale, no doubt about it. Importantly, the outstanding MRL team is also reaping the rewards. After the three-day weekend, almost everyone felt more rested, and 87% reported that their mental health is now feeling more balanced."
Knosuke Matsushita started Panasonic, a significant Japanese multinational firm, in 1918 to produce lightbulb sockets.
Panasonic President Kusumi Yuki declared that to enable a broader range of working styles, employees have the option of switching to a four-day workweek. Panasonic will also encourage more employees to work remotely.
To "increase productivity and promote work-life balance," the United Arab Emirates is switching its federal workforce to a four-and-a-half day work week.
Benefits of companies with a 4-day workweek
The traditional work week, which consists of five eight-hour days, has been in place for many years. However, a new trend is beginning to emerge in the business world. More and more companies are adopting a four-day workweek schedule for their employees. There are many advantages to this arrangement for both the employer and the employee. In fact, many employers are now considering a shorter work week as a way to increase productivity and decrease company costs.
Nicole Chimwamafuku is Finance, Strategy, and Performance Management Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a business management and human resources consulting firm.
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