Do you dream of a three-day weekend every weekend? For some workers it is already a reality.
Elise McCave, director of Film Kickstarter, hasn’t worked Fridays since the crowdfunding platform switched to a 32-hour week, as more companies experiment with flexible working hours that let employees decide where, when, and even how often they work.
Once a rare perk at a handful of mostly technology-focused companies, remote and hybrid work are now common across many industries. This new flexibility has made some workers happier and more productive, and has prompted some employers to reconsider other norms, e.g. B. how often we work and what constitutes a “full-time” schedule.
“Much more focused”
In March 2020, when the pandemic first hit, Kickstarter sent all of its employees home to work remotely. Today, the Brooklyn, New York-based company remains a fully decentralized company.
Last April, the company took another bold step: it switched to a four-day, 32-hour workweek and continued to pay workers their full salaries.
“We give people the day off. We have kept salaries the same which we pay above market rate. We’ve kept the benefits the same — we’re just giving people back time in their week to rest better,” said Jon Leland, Kickstarter’s chief strategy officer and head of sustainability. “And when they come to work, they’re just a lot more focused.”
McCave is using the extra day off to do household chores, like doing her taxes or laundry, so she’ll be “ready for action” next Monday, she told CBS News. McCave also said the shortened workweek gives her a sense of balance after the week Pandemic old work habits turned upside down.
Not a new concept
While the idea of a four-day work week sounds progressive, it’s not. Almost a century ago, Ford Motor founder Henry Ford realized that manufacturing workers could actually produce more car parts by working fewer hours. As a result, he reduced her work week from six to five days.
Kickstarter said it’s also benefiting from shorter hours.
“So far we are doing much better than in the past. The employees are happier. We’re a much stronger company at this point,” Leland said.
“And indeed, we’re hiring and we’re growing at a time when many companies in our industry are shedding employees,” he added.
Kickstarter isn’t the only one trying a four-day workweek. Data from a pilot program claiming to be that largest four-day workweek experiment in the world shows that the shorter work week can help increase sales and retain employees. More than 60 companies in Great Britain with a total of around 3,000 employees took part in the negotiationwhich ran from June to December last year.
While company revenue changed little over the six-month test period, total revenue during the period averaged 35% higher than the same period last year, the results show. Employee retention rates also increased while turnover decreased.
Overall, 92% of companies in the UK study said they would maintain a four-day work week beyond the probationary period.
“It will be fine”
Some state and local governments in the US are too Switch to a 4-day week. Prospect Park, New Jersey, about 20 miles west of New York City, launched its own four-day work week trial last month. Full-time employees still work 40 hours a week, but compressed to four days; Most city workers have Fridays off.
“Prospect Park is a blue-collar town, so people work shifts,” Mayor Mohamed Kairullah told CBS News. “That’s why it’s actually more convenient for our citizens to be able to visit the community center until 6:30 p.m..”
City officials say it’s convenient for them too.
Heidy Amaral, the code enforcement officer for Prospect Park, said the new schedule allows her to spend more time at home with her family.
“It’s great. It gives me more time with my family on Friday. It gives me that extra day if I just want to travel. So I think it’ll work out. It’ll be fine,” she said.