Would 4-Day Work Weeks Make Us More Successful?

Is there anything better than a weekend? The answer is yes – a holiday weekend. When a holiday falls on Monday or Friday, the glorious feeling of three free days radiates from every office worker and others with a similar common-day work schedule. The extra day isn’t just a reason to keep Netflix running – it’s extra time that we can spend with family, friends, and loved ones.

Many companies have proven that a four day work week can definitely succeed. The 70 individuals who work at Treehouse, an online education company that teaches people about technology, use the four-day model, and have managed to grow 120% while generating more than $10 million a year in sales. CEO Ryan Carson has only worked four days a week since 2006, using this format for Treehouse and prior companies he’s helped start up. “The quality of the work, I believe, is higher,” he said. “Thirty-two hours of higher quality work is better than 40 hours of lower quality work.”

Back in 2012, Ryan posted a blog entry that addressed his policy:

“There are so many benefits to working less it’s hard to list them all, but here are the major ones:

Recruiting is easy (we still pay full salaries and offer a very generous benefits package).

Retention is easier. One of the Team told me he regularly gets emails from Facebook trying to win him over and his answer is always the same: “Do you work a 4-day week yet?”

Morale is boosted. On Mondays everyone is fresh and excited – not jaded from working over the weekend.

I get to spend 50% more time with my kids then almost all other dads (three days versus two). Fifty percent. It’s insane. For those on the Team without kids, they get to spend this extra 50% on their hobbies or loved ones.”

It’s been proven that countries where workers put in less time tend to be the most productive. The United States is often seen as being overworked, as American professionals on average work more than 50 hours a week – many even exceeding to 65 hours. In general, we live to work.

When Utah introduced four-day work weeks for many of its state employees in 2008, both productivity and worker satisfaction improved significantly. They reverted to the standard five-day week only three years after introducing the new program, because residents complained about not having access to services on Fridays. If other residents had the same schedule, would complaints have been as great? I mean, we never fault companies for not having Sunday hours.

Let’s think outside of work productivity, and focus more on your personal life. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have a day where you can focus on doctor’s appointments, personal hobbies, or just a day dedicated to that gigantic laundry pile that you’re embarrassed of? By gaining extra time to take care of your personal life, you can come into your job a bit more focused on the work tasks at hand.

The research has proven it – we can be better employees and gain a lot more if we had an extra day off. Do you agree, or do you think that five days of work per week is still a good model for employees?

Image Credits: Featured

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