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JOBS ๐Ÿง‘๐Ÿ”Ž Studies Show That Four-Day Work Weeks are a Win-Win Proposition for Employers & Employees Alike

Wednesday, 26 July 2023 12:00.PM

The first-ever Canadian four-day work week pilot program has concluded, with Boston College today releasing results citing a 100% success rate โ€“ all 41 companies in North America are planning to maintain their work time reduction policy beyond the trial1. The innovative initiative was created in partnership with Boston College, non-profit advocacy group 4 Day Week Global, and four-day work week pioneer Joe O'Connor, who designed the world's first pilot program in Ireland in 2021 and led global trials throughout 2022 including in the US and UK and is now the head of Canadian-based Work Time Reduction Center of Excellence (WTR-CoE).

Highlights from the peer-reviewed study include:

โ€ข Revenue increased by 15% over the course of the trial, demonstrating that these are growing and successful companies.
โ€ข Working hours: Reduced from an average of 38 to less than 33 over 12 months.
โ€ข Work intensity: Reduced by 2%. Companies achieved work time reduction through organizational redesign rather than speed-up.
โ€ข Burnout: Reduced by 17%.
โ€ข Mental health: Improved by 17%.
โ€ข Physical health: Improved by 12%.
โ€ข Life satisfaction: Increased by 16%.
โ€ข Work-life balance: Improved by 35%.

The value of the shorter working week to employees is powerfully expressed by the fact that 45% would require a pay increase of greater than 25% to return to a regular five-day schedule, while an additional 14% stated that no amount of money would induce them to go back to a standard five-day week.

Joe O'Connor, Work Time Reduction Center of Excellence, is thrilled to see the positive results and is passionate about changing Canadian work environments for the better: "the evidence is in โ€“ shorter working weeks lead to happier and healthier employees, and the organizations that they work for are better positioned to attract and retain talent. Through a commitment to operational excellence and a culture of continuous improvement, they can also create more productive and efficient businesses. There's a real and significant opportunity for ambitious, imaginative leaders to be at the forefront of this change and differentiate themselves from the competition."

The four-day work week trial was rolled out at companies that cover a range of sectors, including public relations and tech, showing that this model can work across professions, provided the right tools are in place. The WTR CoE provides companies with these tools through customized end-to-end consultancy support to implement this innovative approach.

100% of the North American trial participants plan to adopt a permanent four-day work week, citing overall morale and productivity. "Our four-day work week trial was a resounding success with employees sharing an amazing 51% increase in time spent doing what matters most and a 42% increase in work-life balance," says Matt Juniper Associate Partner and General Manager, PRAXIS. "As a business owner, it has been impactful to see employee satisfaction increase while simultaneously seeing a 25% reduction in time taken off for personal and sick days and 15% less time spent on internal and administrative tasks. Because of this, we expanded our four-day work week by another six months in order to continue to assess profitability and performance over a full year and intend to make it permanent pending those results"

The WTR CoE makes it easy to implement reduced work time initiatives (including but not limited to four-day work week initiatives) through a number of programs that support organizations as they transition to a shorter work week. The WTR CoE knows that adopting a shorter work week can be complex and challenging and has created programs for every type of business, from start-ups with 20 employees to multinational companies.

SOURCE: Work Time Reduction Center of Excellence

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