By Dale Mumma, Chief Creative Officer
As we look forward to summer, our team at The Carbon Agency is anticipating our annual Friday half days. During the summer months, our clients are taking vacations, and many are also taking Fridays off. Marketing programs tend to be planned in advance with fewer last-minute campaigns, making summertime ideal for more relaxed Fridays.
The four-day workweek got a major boost after 4 Day Week Global (4DWG) released findings from a six-month trial of 33 companies decreasing their employees’ workload to four days or 32 hours a week. Not only did the companies improve employee health and well-being, they also increased productivity and revenue.1
Best fit for shorter weeks
Of course, a four-day workweek may not be achievable yet for organizations that need 24/7 coverage, such as medical professionals and manufacturing. Customer-facing companies, including retail, restaurants and foodservice, hotels and hospitality industry, would need to be creative about establishing new processes.
However, organizations with a large employee base of knowledge workers may be able to shift to a four-day week with simple adjustments.
Here are four benefits of the four-day workweek:
Good for business – The 4DWG says companies reported revenue increased 8.14% for the trail period. Plus, revenue was up 37% compared to the same six-month period the previous year.2 Newsweek’s study on four-day workweeks found 49% of poll respondents believe a shorter workweek would make workers more productive, while 83% think they could complete their weekly workload in just four days.3 For one PR agency taking part in the 4DWG study, productivity increased 25 – 30% because employees were motivated to become more efficient, including cutting down on meetings.4
Good for employees – Having a third day off allows team members more time for family, self-care and mental health breaks. They can give attention to childcare, eldercare and other responsibilities in their personal lives, allowing them to be more focused on their job responsibilities while at work. During the 4DWG trial, 67% of employees reported lower levels of burnout.5 In fact, 42% of study participants said they would need 25 – 50% salary increase to return to a five-day work week.6
Good for environment – 4DWG reports time spent commuting fell nearly an hour a week. This is notable because remote work also fell during the trial period.7 In addition to lower carbon emissions, businesses also use less energy.
Good for gender equality – Because women tend to take on more responsibilities for home and family care, the extra day off from work is a significant benefit. This is especially meaningful during a time when women are dropping out of the labor force or cutting back on hours because of burnout or lack of childcare. The 4DWG women participants reported improvements in well-being, life satisfaction and sleep!8
A major confirmation of the success of the four-day workweek is the fact that 91% of the organizations taking part in the 4DWG trial are continuing with the shorter work schedule.9
While each organization must make certain they meet the needs of their customers, employees and stakeholders, these four benefits are quite compelling in the argument for a four-day workweek.
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1. “The results are here,” 4 Day Week Global.
2. “The results are here.”
3. “America is Ready for the 4-Day Workweek,” Giulia Carbonaro, Newsweek.
4. “The results are here.”
5. “The results are here.”
6. “Why 2023 Could Finally Be the Year of the 4-Day Workweek,” Lisa Abend, Time.
7. “The results are here.”
8. “No more Fridays,” Molly Lipson, Business Insider.
9. “The results are here.”