bluefirebrand 9 days ago

My company did a 4-day work week trial over the summer, with the idea that it was an investigation into how viable it is.

I can't speak for org-wide, but my department had minimal if any impact to productivity.

But now we're back to five days, and the only thing we've heard is that we won't be going to full time four-day weeks, and in fact "that was never on the table".

They're saying we might do 4-day week summers or whatever going forward.

Personally, the 4-day week was so good for my health and well being that if I ever get that opportunity full time I'd trade almost any amount of salary decrease for the shorter week again.

Edit: We constantly see headlines about how mental health issues are on the rise. Constantly people talking about burnout and stress leave and such. I think if we want to combat that, a 4-day work week would be a very good start.

I personally think that it's almost inevitable now, especially with studies like this showing it doesn't impact productivity.

  • dmitrygr 9 days ago

    Counterpoint: plenty of studies showing that for many jobs WFH works well, and yet everyone is forcing RTO. Assuming that science/efficiency/logic has anything to do with the decisions being made is a bit naive.

    • lcnPylGDnU4H9OF 9 days ago

      This seems to be comparing apples to oranges. With WFH vs RTO, they are separate positions that have valid disagreements. That is to say, as much as one employee likes WFH a different employee may not. I haven't seen actual employees complain about a 4-day work week nearly the same I've seen some complain about not having an office to escape to or socialize in.

    • revlolz 9 days ago

      Warning: about to over generalize, but pro-rto people I've encountered are my opposite. They need an office environment to escape constraints of home and live close enough or don't mind traffic. For me, traffic is the bane of my existence and home is where I thrive mentally and productively. I will always cede the benefit of face to face meetings when needed, but I've rarely needed them in my org enough to be pro forcing people back.

      I hope the future holds practical and rational movement to benefit both rto/wfh crowds. RTO extremists however can die with the previous decade for all I care.

    • bluefirebrand 9 days ago

      Sure, all that should tell us is which companies are run by out of touch morons, that we should refuse to work for. :)

    • nso95 9 days ago

      Everyone? Seems mostly like FAANG

timoth3y 9 days ago

We should be skeptical of these announcements.

Over the past few years, we've seen a steady stream of companies issuing press releases about these kinds of experiments showing a four-day workweek is just as (or more) productive. The firms pat themselves on the back about how forward-thinking they are and talk about their commitment to employee well-being.

However, none of these companies actually move to a four-day workweek. It seems like theater at this point.

leobg 9 days ago

Christoph Roser in "Faster, better, cheaper in the history of manufacturing from the Stone Age to lean manufacturing and beyond", about England switching from the 15h workday to an 8h workday back in the 19th century:

> As is to be expected, working fewer hours per day improved productivity per hour. However, what totally surprised employ­ers was that in many cases, the employees were able to produce more in eight hours than before in 14 or 16 hours, not in relative comparison but in absolute numbers! A worker, in eight hours of work with 16 hours of break in between, produced more per day than the same worker did before in 14 to 16 hours with only an eight-hour break in between.

mjfl 9 days ago

"3-day work week brings no loss of productivity"

"2-day work week brings no loss of productivity"

"1-day work week brings no loss of productivity"

"0-day work week brings no loss of productivity"

-laid off employee

dominotw 9 days ago

lol all this tells us that ppl are just chilling at work which we all already knew

  • bluefirebrand 9 days ago

    That's the point.

    So if you are running a company you have three options:

    You can maintain the status quo, and nothing changes.

    You can try to wring the extra productivity out of people somehow, which people will resent and they will quit, or they will burn out and leave.

    Or

    You can give people that time back and they will actually be happier in their lives and happier working for you, and you will have a hiring advantage over your competition

  • Gigachad 9 days ago

    The real question is how long do these results last. There are plenty of short term trials but you’d expect that people work extra hard during these trials and then eventually give up and work as hard as before but 4 days.