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Friday, Sep 29, 2023

It's the question on everyone's lips: could a four-day workweek be the future of employment?

With many companies experimenting with the idea, the Wall Street Journal decided to ask the people who matter most - the workers themselves. And the results were mixed.
The Wall Street Journal explored the idea of a four-day workweek, with many companies and employees trying out the shortened schedule.

Some found it beneficial for productivity and work-life balance, while others found it difficult to manage their workload and preferred a traditional five-day schedule.

Some companies have found alternative solutions, such as adopting a seven-hour workday or "Flex Fridays," which have improved productivity and retention rates.

While some employees, such as those in consumer-facing roles, found it difficult to manage their workloads on a shortened schedule, others found the benefits to be undeniable.

Mike Groves, CEO of Federal Lock & Safe, implemented a seven-hour workday for his non-customer-facing teams, and productivity and retention rates both improved.

For Chet Guardino, the CEO of Lexon Medical Management, productivity increased across the board when they trialed a four-and-a-half-day workweek, with insurance claims processed per person increasing when employees were given Friday afternoons off.

Brian McNaboe, an adviser at Harvard Business School, also found that productivity could be maintained with a shorter workweek.

In his previous role as CTO at Volt Athletics, "Flex Fridays" became so successful that they decided to make it permanent.

However, some workers prefer the traditional five-day workweek.

Sean Collier, a regional government hydrologist, has worked a four-day, 10-hour schedule for the past 15 years but says he would prefer to work five eight-hour days.

And for some CEOs, hours worked remain the best proxy for productivity.

Roy Eriksson, president and CEO of Eriksson Technologies and Eriksson Software, says that while measuring value by output makes sense, it's hard to get away from measuring work in hours.

So, what's the verdict? As with many things in life, there's no one-size-fits-all solution.

But it's clear that employers who are willing to experiment with alternative schedules are finding success, with productivity and retention rates on the rise.

Could the future of work be a shorter workweek?

The debate between hours worked versus output as a measure of productivity also continues, with some arguing that time is a poor way of measuring value and output should be the only metric that matters.


Please read the full article at the Wall Street Journal here
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