Despite the world’s latest four-day workweek experiment resulting in higher-than-expected job satisfaction and productivity, this arrangement is still out of reach for many.
The concept has, at the very least, become mainstream. So much so, that more companies have started toying with the idea of staggering shorter work weeks, particularly as the UK trial showed that 86% of participating companies called the experiment a success.
Despite the optimistic outcome of the trial, it does indicate a slow adoption of the model for industries outside of the tech sector.
“It is really taking off as a notable trend in areas like tech, software, ICT [internet communication technology], finance and professional services – knowledge-based roles that used to be primarily office-based, but are now in many cases are hybrid or remote,” said Joe O’Connor, director and co-founder of the Work Time Reduction Center of Excellence.
Because much of these knowledge-based industries already rely on modern technologies, shortening the work week takes less pre-planning. However, in order for other industries to have the same opportunity, norms in the workplace will have to be completely revamped.
For instance, Portugal’s government is currently in the process of experimenting with their own four-day workweek.
But Peros Gomes, coordinator of the trial, notes that many organizations can benefit from a staggered model, rather than giving all workers Fridays off. By doing so, a company can still operate five days a week, while employees can benefit from a shorter work week without loss in productivity.