Since we adopted a four-day workweek in 2020, everybody’s been leaping on the practice throughout totally different industries and nations. Most notably, nonetheless – and the explanation we’re gathered right here in the present day – is the UK’s four-day workweek experiment that has yielded optimistic outcomes. It’s additionally confirmed what we already know — that working 4 days per week works.
With the four-day workweek gaining traction worldwide, we thought it was about time to verify in, but once more, with the oldsters working at Buffer about what it’s prefer to work 4 days per week.
We carried out a four-day workweek experiment in May 2020 to check its results on our collective well-being, psychological well being, and private relationships.
The experiment wasn’t supposed to trace its results on productiveness, so we set low expectations round this measurement, however we have been pleasantly stunned by the outcomes.
On the time, our Chief of Workers, Carolyn Kopprasch, wrote, “…attributable to elevated relaxation and reflection, lots of you have got shared that you simply felt your weekly productiveness was in reality not all that totally different, and that your high quality of labor was larger whereas experiencing improved total wellbeing.”
We finally shifted to a four-day workweek through the rest of 2020 and are actually approaching the three-year mark.
We’ve checked in with our group several times since implementing the four-day workweek — sufficient to know it really works. However the current enhance in curiosity had us considering — what does the four-day workweek seem like for us, three years in?
That led us to place out a survey stuffed out by 53 Buffer workers (out of 78), 60 p.c of whom have been working at Buffer for over three years, which is so long as we’ve been operating the four-day workweek. Right here’s what they needed to say.
Everybody loves the four-day workweek
Unsurprisingly, 100% of survey respondents said that they’d prefer to proceed working remotely for the remainder of their careers.
That is in keeping with outcomes from the UK experiment, with 90 p.c of workers saying they positively wish to proceed on a four-day week with nobody saying they positively don’t wish to proceed.
Most workers — 78.8 p.c — work 4 days per week OR 5 shorter days, up from 73 percent the final time we did a survey. In the meantime, 21 p.c work greater than 4 days per week, down from 27 p.c the final time we did this survey.
We will infer from this that point spent working a four-day workweek has allowed every particular person to determine what works greatest for his or her schedule. We will additionally join this outcome to adjusted inside expectations for the four-day workweek.
As Carolyn explains, “We’ve considerably adjusted the expectations of the fifth day in order that it’s extra of an “overflow” day if wanted. That is in keeping with our common flexibility, however now managers are being extra specific: we encourage teammates to work on that fifth day in the event that they select to or if wanted, primarily based on their workload or the group’s wants. (If it’s not wanted, then the teammate is inspired to take it off fully as traditional.) Engaged on the fifth day just isn’t essentially a failure of the system or an issue. It’s simply not anticipated or required like in a five-day work week atmosphere.”
Burnout has no place within the four-day workweek, say 100% of Buffer teammates
We predict and speak quite a bit about burnout right here at Buffer, so it’s encouraging to see teammates not really feel burnt out working a four-day workweek. A majority, 73.1 p.c, of teammates said that they really feel extra energized, whereas 26.9 p.c don’t really feel notably totally different.
The UK experiment had ends in the same vein — 71 p.c of workers had decreased ranges of burnout by the tip of the trial.
Moreover, 99.1 p.c of teammates are much less careworn since they began working a four-day workweek.
Measured in opposition to the trial respondents, 39 p.c of whom said that they have been much less careworn, this may increasingly look like an outlier. Nonetheless, it’s essential to think about that Buffer is each distant and operating a four-day workweek. That is seemingly a significant component within the decreased stress ranges discovered among the many survey respondents.
Work-life steadiness is a significant good thing about the four-day workweek
Most Buffer teammates, 61.5 p.c of, discover it simpler to steadiness work and life. One teammate particularly highlighted, “There may be extra time throughout regular enterprise hours on Friday to handle the “Admin” of my private life.”
A more healthy work-life steadiness can be mirrored within the UK’s trial outcomes, with 60 p.c of trial respondents reporting an elevated potential to mix paid work with care tasks and 62 p.c reporting it was simpler to mix work with their social life.
The decreased workweek isn’t with out its challenges
Whereas 65.4 p.c of teammates are capable of full their work inside 4 days, 40.4 p.c really feel like they will’t end all their work in that timeframe. Nonetheless, as highlighted by Carolyn, we encourage utilizing the fifth day as an overflow day, which 61.6 p.c of teammates discover that they should do most or a number of the time.
The downsides of working each a distant and four-day workweek system are additionally mirrored within the survey responses, as teammates spotlight that making connections with coworkers is difficult.
One respondent said, “Distant work mixed with a 4-day work week signifies that reference to group members typically takes a again seat to make sure that the work will get performed.” One other shared, “You quit a number of the issues that are not core to your job however have been type of enjoyable to do at work.”
Different highlighted challenges embrace:
- Time administration: “Managing my time nicely in the course of the 4 days to account for one much less day.”
- Overwhelming assembly schedules: “It is close to unimaginable to have a meeting-free day with a condensed schedule.”
- Feeling remoted from different teammates for those who work a less common schedule
Many individuals use the break day for non-work actions
The UK’s experiment discovered that most individuals don’t use their further break day to tackle paid work elsewhere. They use it for hobbies and leisure, house responsibilities and caring, and private upkeep.
The identical is true at Buffer – a teammate highlighted that they use their break day for all times admin, particularly mentioning that they care for issues like grocery purchasing and meal prep to totally benefit from the weekend.
We’ve coated how some teammates reap the benefits of their distinctive schedules – check out this article to learn additional.
We’ll maintain working the four-day workweek
General, we’ve had an overwhelmingly optimistic response to the four-day workweek. The decreased schedule permits workers to concentrate on private pursuits, hobbies, and self-care throughout their further break day. Life admin is best dealt with throughout a four-day workweek — individuals have extra time for his or her households and buddies.
We aren’t planning on transferring away from a four-day workweek – we’ll maintain refining our method to make sure its success for each our teammates and Buffer as an entire. We stay up for extra knowledge on this new technique to work and extra corporations becoming a member of us on this journey.
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