- New data from a four-day workweek pilot looks at how workers fared under the test for a year.
- Workers were happier and more efficient, and their firms ended up bringing in more in revenue.
- Rep. Mark Takano wants to make the shorter week law, and says it’s here to stay.
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The results are in: A four-day workweek pays off for workers and their workplaces, and one lawmaker says that means it’s time for 32 hours on the clock to become law.
On Wednesday, 4 Day Week Global — a New Zealand-based nonprofit — released findings from its latest installment of its pilot program testing out a four-day work week in participating companies across a range of countries including the US, Australia, and the United Kingdom. It found that after a year testing out the shortened week, it remained a resounding success.
Workers were more efficient, even as work intensity dipped. They worked less, and were able to better maintain their work-life balance. Revenue at firms participating grew by 15%, and a third of employees said they were less likely to leave their jobs.
It’s the latest such study to demonstrate the tangible benefits of shortening the week, an idea that’s increasingly become reality as workers started to recalibrate their lives and relationship to work in the wake of the pandemic.
Democratic Rep. Mark Takano, who has led legislation to make a four-day work week law, commended the report’s latest findings.
“4 Day Week Global’s latest study make the urgent need for my Thirty-Two Hour Workweek Act overwhelmingly clear,” Takano said in a statement. “The four-day workweek can be implemented with positive impacts on workers and businesses, and this extensive study bolsters the employee feedback from shorter trial studies. The four-day workweek is here to stay.”
Under Takano’s legislation, the Fair Labor Standards Act would be adjusted to make the workweek 32 hours; workers would then become eligible for higher overtime pay if they worked over 32 hours.
“There’s a great sort of opening for people to see it as part of a new normal, a new normal that they’d like to build,” Takano told Insider in 2022.
Takano is not the only lawmaker pushing for Americans to work fewer hours in each week. In February, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders wrote on Twitter that “with exploding technology and increased worker productivity, it’s time to move toward a four-day work week with no loss of pay. Workers must benefit from technology, not just corporate CEOs.”
He was referring to the pilot program’s December findings six months in, after which revenue among participating companies rose 8.14%, and 67% of employees reported feeling less burned-out, with the extra day allowing them to exercise and sleep more.
Given the pilot program’s success, some US companies have started testing out the idea, as well. Last year, for example, a Chick-fil-A in Florida launched a three-day workweek and received 400 applications for just one job.
“A concern we frequently hear is there’s no way the results from our six-month trials can be maintained, as the novelty eventually must wear off, but here we are a year later with benefits only continuing to grow,” Dale Whelehan, CEO of 4 Day Week Global, said in a statement. “This is very promising for the sustainability of this model, and we look forward to tracking companies’ experiences well into the future.”