If the 4-day week isn’t for everyone, what’s the alternative?

morgan | 13 Mar 2023 | News | Change

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 behavioral 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 organization. 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.

Work Time Reduction Center of Excellence

The Work Time Reduction Center of Excellence seeks to support and scale the widespread worldwide adoption of reduced hour schedules. Co-designed by former 4 Day Week Global CEO Joe O’Connor in partnership with leading people-first transformation company Curium Solutions.

Bringing together Joe’s experience in partnering with organisations all over the world to design, coordinate and implement shorter work week trials, alongside Curium’s expertise in operational excellence and change management,

The Work Time Reduction Center of Excellence, is supported by world-class researchers, change management experts, operational excellence specialists, future of work thought leaders, and four-day week pioneers, designs bespoke trials, programs and projects focused on the individual needs of companies.

Joe O’Connor, Director of the Work Time Reduction Center of Excellence said:

“This partnership is one of shared values to put people first, a shared vision to change the world of work, and a shared ambition to make reduced working time the new normal.

I believe that together we can take the shorter working week movement to the next level, and deliver smarter working, greater work-life balance, more efficient businesses, and improved performance, and ultimately a better quality of life for all. I’m excited to get started working with today’s changemakers and tomorrow’s pioneers to make this a reality.”

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The Work Time Reduction Center of Excellence is an umbrella organization for three discrete areas of focus:

TRANSFORMATION – Providing expert advice for leaders and companies who want to help their organizations and people to work shorter and smarter.

TECHNOLOGY – Developing high-tech digital tools, products, and software to help organizations and individuals who want to work more efficiently in order to reduce their hours to make change and measure change.

TESTING – Investing in world-class future of work research and experimentation, with an emphasis on the impact and feasibility of work time reduction.

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