(NEXSTAR) — One day less work, not a dollar less pay: For an employee, what is it not to love? But even employers like the idea, a recent test of about 30 companies shows.
Thirty-three companies employing around 1,000 people in the US, Ireland and Australia decided to test a 32-hour, four-day work week as part of a six-month pilot program designed by the non-profit 4 Day Week. Global and professors from Boston College. The test instructed “employees to work 80% of their regularly scheduled hours in exchange for 100% of their salary and a commitment to deliver 100% of their standard output.”
Of those that participated, 27 companies decided to share their thoughts, and the results came in this week:
Eighteen companies say they definitely plan to continue with a four-day week, seven intend to continue but have not finalized plans, one company “inclined to continue” and another “not sure yet.” None of the participating companies said they were inclined to stop or switch back.
The overall average employee rating was 9.1 out of 10, 4 Day Week Global said in its final report. About 97% said they wanted to continue with the trial. Employees cited improved stress, burnout, work-life balance, and physical health as reasons they preferred the shorter week.
Seventy percent of employees surveyed said they would need a 10% to 50% pay increase to consider going back to a 40-hour week.
The companies involved saw revenue increase during the trial period by about 8%, 4 Day Week Global discovered. Many companies also gained employees and grew in size at a time when many similar organizations were struggling to fight against the trend of the “Great Resignation”
When asked how productivity was affected, companies gave the test a score of 7.7 out of 10.
While a four-day week is still rare in the United States, it has gained popularity in other parts of the world. A study in Iceland involved moving about 1% of the country’s workforce to a 35- or 36-hour week, reports the Washington Post. They found that employees loved the shorter week and that productivity stayed the same or improved.
“There’s actually quite a large, and growing, body of current literature on the four-day workweek,” Timothy P. Munyon, associate professor of management at the University of Tennessee, told NewsNation affiliate. WATER. “The general consensus is that it improves productivity, reduces exhaustion and increases rest.”