Does a 4 day work week increase productivity?

 

Working a 4-day week, it sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? Well actually this could soon be a reality due to a highly successful study that was trailed in New Zealand by a company called Perpetual Guardians. Perpetual Guardians conducted a study in New Zealand with 240 employees on an opt in basis to test the benefits of working a 4-day working week over the standardised 5. The focus of the study was to see if there was a difference in productivity, staff motivation, overall engagement and general health.

The results of the study showcased that employees are just as productive, if not more productive whilst working over the 4 days rather than the standardised 5.

Is this due to what is known as the Pareto Principle?

Pareto Principle

The Pareto Principle (also known as the 80/20 principle) basically follows the factor that 80% of the effects which in this case is the individual’s productivity is achieved through only 20% of their cause which would be time. So, by working 4 days instead of 5 you are more focused, productive and still able to achieve the same results.

 

So what are the benefits and disadvantages of the 4 day work week?

Benefits of a 4-day work week

From the trial results from “The Four Day Week” with Perpetual Guardians we can see that there are a variety of beneficial elements that a 4-day work week has, here are some of the largest benefits that this trial has produced…

Job performance maintained in 4 days vs standardised 5 days.

A whopping reduction in employee stress levels which reduced by 7%

A huge increase of work life balance which increased by 24%

Team Engagement has dramatically risen through various sectors…

Leadership engagement increased by 18%

Work stimulation increased by 18%                                                                                                           

Empowerment of work roles increased by 18%                                                                                               

Work commitment increased by 20%

With these outstanding results it is very tough to argue against the 4-day work week as the results speak for themselves.

 

Disadvantages of a 4-day work week

Now we can look at the disadvantages of the 4-day work week trial and see what flaws this initiative may produce.

– The 4-day work week is not universal and can only work across certain industries. For example, healthcare industry, this would not be an ideal solution and would require companies to spend more money as they would need to hire more staff.

– From a corporate company view by working a 4-day week, you are losing out on 1 day of potential business due to unattended phones and emails. 

– Would corporate companies be willing to evolve to these new-found study results after decades upon decades of 5-day weeks?

 

Unfortunately, I would love to be able to say that one side is the clear winner but despite outstanding results from the trial it cannot be replicated across majority of industries which would end up in fact  being more costly. Any company that works on shift basis or entertainment or healthcare industries this 4-day week would not work.

All in all, this is a great initiative for many industries and will introduce a new era of healthy living / work life balance and I personally would love to see companies fully embrace this and with all of this free time many companies will now have the ability to schedule quarterly or annually activities or events to focus on key elements of the work environment such as motivation, team work or use it as a perfect way of rewarding employees with an event or activity for their consistant hard work. What ever the reason we have events and energisers to suit your every need.

Will your company be paving the way of the 4-day work week era? Let us know in the comments below.

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