The four-day workweek has gotten substantial attention and positive reviews. More recently so, with the release of data from the world’s largest trial of the model, which involved 3,300 workers in the UK, the results found that 71% of participants reported being less burned out, with 48% saying their job satisfaction had increased.
Earlier results from smaller tests has also shown positive results. But not every company feels ready to function with a prospective 20% reduction in working hours.
The UK tech company Otta.com is among a group of companies worldwide adopting the nine-day fortnight schedule, aiming to achieve some of the benefits of a four-day workweek.
“We experiment a lot with everything: our product, our policies, our benefits,” he says. “And so it felt quite natural to say ‘hey, let’s give this a go.” Sam Franklin, Otta co-founder and CEO.
Some companies operating the nine-day fortnight are also introducing “deep work” days when meetings are forbidden. Even for companies that haven’t considered four-day weeks, nine-day fortnights might work best in the long term anyway.
Professor of behavioural science at the London School of Economics, Laura M. Giurge, says:
“Companies are likely adopting progressive working policies like the nine-day fortnight with an eye toward retention and recruitment, as employees are still looking for flexibility from their jobs in the aftermath of the pandemic.
It’s going to be hard to attract talent if you’re not offering some flexibility, moving with the trends that we’ve been seeing post-COVID.”
Flexi-hours, 4pm finish days, compressed days or even additional time off are all alternatives to the 4-day week, depending on the organisation. These alternatives may bring about the common benefits of a reduced work week that we’ve seen in the trials. Such as; improved work-life balance, lower stress levels, and higher productivity.