HomeTop StoriesEmployees find balance as some companies cut workweek to 4 days

Employees find balance as some companies cut workweek to 4 days

Dreaming of a three-day weekend each weekend? For some employees, it is already a actuality. 

Elise McCave, head of movie Kickstarter, by no means works on Fridays for the reason that crowdfunding platform shifted to a 32-hour workweek, as extra firms experiment with versatile schedules that permit workers determine the place, when and even how usually they work.

As soon as uncommon perks at a handful of principally tech-focused companies, distant and hybrid work are actually widespread in lots of industries. That new flexibility has made some employees happier and extra productive, main some employers to rethink different norms, corresponding to how usually we work and what constitutes a “full-time” schedule.  

“Much more targeted”

In March 2020, when the pandemic first hit, Kickstarter despatched all of its employees residence to work remotely. Immediately, the Brooklyn, New York-based firm stays a totally distant enterprise. 

Final April, the corporate made one other daring transfer: It shifted to a four-day, 32-hour workweek, whereas nonetheless paying employees’ their full salaries. 

“We’re giving people who time off. We saved salaries the identical, which we pay above market. We saved advantages the identical — we’re simply giving individuals again time of their week to get higher relaxation,” mentioned Jon Leland, chief technique officer and head of sustainability for Kickstarter. “And so, once they do come to work, they’re simply much more targeted.”

Jill Schlesinger’s new book on finding work-life balance


McCave makes use of the bonus time off from work to get chores achieved, like doing her taxes or laundry, in order that come Monday she’s “able to roll,” she informed CBS Information. McCave additionally mentioned the truncated workweek provides her a way of stability after the pandemic upended previous work habits. 

Not a brand new idea

Whereas the thought of a four-day workweek sounds progressive, it is not. Practically a century in the past, Ford Motor founder Henry Ford decided that manufacturing workers might really churn out extra automobile elements by working fewer hours. Because of this, he trimmed their workweek from six days to 5.  

Kickstarter mentioned it, too, is benefiting of shorter employees hours.

“To this point, we’re performing significantly better than we’ve got traditionally. Staff are happier. We’re a a lot stronger firm at this level,” Leland mentioned. 

“And actually, we’re hiring and we’re rising at a time when loads of firms in our trade are laying individuals off,” he added.

Kickstarter is not alone in attempting a four-day workweek. Knowledge from a pilot program claiming to be the largest four-day workweek experiment on the earth reveals that the shorter workweek can assist develop income and retain employees. Greater than 60 firms within the U.Okay., with a complete of roughly 3,000 employees, participated in the trial, which ran from June to December of final yr. 

Whereas firms’ income modified little over the course of the six-month trial, total income throughout the interval was 35% larger on common in comparison with the identical interval a yr earlier, the findings present. Worker retention charges additionally rose, whereas turnover declined.

In all, 92% of the companies within the U.Okay. research mentioned they’d proceed to keep up a four-day workweek past the trial interval. 

“It will be good”

Some state and native authorities within the U.S. are additionally switching to a four-day workweek. Prospect Park, New Jersey, positioned roughly 20 miles west of New York Metropolis, launched its personal trial of a four-day workweek final month. Full-time workers nonetheless work 40 hours every week, however condensed into 4 days; most metropolis employees take Fridays off.

“Prospect Park is a blue-collar city, so individuals work shift hours,” Mayor Mohamed Kairullah informed CBS Information. “So, now having the chance to go to the municipal constructing as much as 6:30 p.m. really is extra handy for our residents.”

City workers say it is handy for them, too.

Heidy Amaral, the code enforcement officer for Prospect Park, mentioned the brand new schedule permits her to spend extra time at residence together with her household. 

“It is nice. It provides me extra time with my household on Friday. It provides me that further day in case I simply wish to journey. So I feel it will work out. It will be good,” she mentioned. 

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