If you spend much time on Linkedin, you’ve probably seen the recent study floating around about the benefits of a four-day workweek in the UK. It sounds great in theory, but what happens when a business in America, a society that idolizes “hustle” and “grind”, puts it to the test? For the last four years, Kōvly Studio has practiced a four-day workweek, and we’re here to give you all the nitty-gritty details.
Our initial consideration of a four-day work week stemmed from the team feeling like we were always plugged in. After instituting the updated schedule, we instantly saw productivity increase as well as life balance, fulfillment, and employee satisfaction. We noticed we could get the same amount of work done (if not more) within the shorter period.
The benefits weren’t solely felt on an employee level; leadership noticed an improvement as well. From the employer side, the four-day week was an attractive benefit for employees, instilling a sense of ownership in the team to get their individual job done efficiently, and allowed space for leadership to focus on the business on Fridays and step away from work on weekends to come back energized the following week. Much like the study said, employers in the UK “were convinced by revenue gains, drops in turnover and lower levels of worker burnout that four is the new five when it comes to workdays.”
The most beautiful part? Employees weren’t producing less work even though they were working fewer hours. “Understanding that a shorter week doesn’t minimize my workload makes a big difference. As an employee, I love the benefit of a four-day workweek and want to do what I can to keep it around. I also find myself more focused during the workday because I know my responsibilities and what I need to get done,” says Kōvly Studio Sr. Account Manager, Lauren Dahmes.
Keeping communication clear with clients is key to the success of a four-day workweek. They understand when our team is available and that we work extremely proactively to guarantee there are no fires to put out when we return on Monday. While not possible for every business or every team, our hybrid environment and organization (thanks to our project management tool, here’s looking at you Monday.com) means it’s a great fit for our team.
If you’re considering a four-day workweek for your organization, the best advice we can give is to make it your own. Make changes or edits that support your environment and workload. As the study reports, “most companies adopted four-day schedules, although a small percentage opted for shorter five-day arrangements or, in the case of seasonal businesses like restaurants, an annualized four-day week model in which longer opening times in summer would compensate for shorter days in winter.”
We can’t wait to continue watching how this unfolds in the US and to see employee and employer productivity, satisfaction, and overall health improve.