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Many companies are putting the well-being of their employees first by allowing them to work four days per week with a three-day weekend. Some companies have even reduced hours without reducing pay.
The most interesting part is many companies report the same level of productivity, despite reduced hours due to increased efficiency when working. Overworked employees become less efficient due to stress fatigue, and other factors.
The 40-hour workweek is a classic example of Parkinson’s Law. If you work 40 hours, work expands as to fill the time available for its completion. By emphasizing results over hours logged, businesses achieve the same output in fewer hours, leaving employees with more time to pursue other activities that are important to them.
The idea of working less may seem radical, but it’s not the first time society has changed the number of hours worked. During the Industrial Revolution, most people worked between 12 and 16 hours per day, six days a week, an 80-100 hour workweek.
It wasn’t until Henry Ford popularized the 40-hour, five-day workweek in 1926. It began as an experiment at select plants in July 1926 and became company policy by September the same year because the output of workers remain the same.
Fast-forward to today and many companies believe the four-day workweek could offer similar benefits seen by Ford. There are even websites dedicated to surfacing jobs with a four-day workweek.
Not only can reduced hours improve efficiency, but it can also yield substantial savings on recruitment expenses and overtime pay.
It’s not only companies that are experimenting with the four-day workweek. Iceland has conducted several large-scale trials of the four-day workweek between 2015 and 2019, finding it an “overwhelming success”.
The trials’ found that a shorter week increased employee wellbeing: stress, burnout, health, and work-life balance all improved.
Spain launched a three-year pilot in September 2021 which will cost the European Union 50 million euros to compensate an estimated 200 companies for reducing their employees' workweek to 32 hours without cutting salary.
Scotland plans to launch a similar trial of a four-day 32-hour workweek where workers will have their hours reduced without any loss in compensation.
83 companies with permanent 4-day workweeks
3D Issue was founded in 2007 and has grown organically with no outside funding or investment. It creates digital publishing software to help you transform static PDFs into stunning HTML5 digital publications, centralize your social content, and even build your own iOS/Android App.
3D Issue permanently switched to a four-day workweek after every employee opted for a four-day working week over a 20% pay rise.
Abstract is a design workflow platform for teams to version, manage, and collaborate. Its mission is to dramatically improve productivity, transparency, and the impact of design.
Abstract is a remote-first company with team members all over the US. Their version of the four-day workweek includes alternating four-day weekends. With more time to spend with friends and family, they've seen an improvement in work/life balance, increased productivity, more flexibility, and reduced burnout.
Administrate is a Scottish tech company that has operated on a four-day, 32-hour workweek since 2015. Their software is designed to manage enterprise training operations and level up your training program.
The inspiration behind Administrate’s four-day workweek stems from their founder John Peebles who grew up in China and saw firsthand their switch from the six-day to a five-day working week in 1995 with no loss in productivity.
Arken.legal builds will writing software for professionals and has created over 6 million wills for private client solicitors, will writers, accountants, trust companies, and other legal service providers globally.
In October 2020, Arken.legal switched to a four-day workweek where all full-time employees have Fridays off with the exception of two staff who take a different day to ensure cover (they have Mondays off instead). 81% of employees are more likely to stay at Arken.legal now the 4-day week has been introduced.
Atom Bank is the UK’s first app-based bank, here to make things better for you. Their award-winning customer service and competitive mortgage and savings rates keep their thousands of customers smiling.
In November 2021, Atom Bank announced that they would be moving their 430+ staff to a four-day, 34-hour workweek with either Monday or Friday off with no reduction in pay.
CEO Mark Mullen told the BBC the move was inspired by the pandemic, improving wellbeing, and retaining staff:
"Before Covid, the conventional wisdom was you had to commute in, sit at a desk all day and repeat that process when you commuted home. Covid showed us that it wasn't necessary…I think doing 9-5, Monday to Friday is a pretty old-fashioned way of working."
Awin is a global affiliate marketing network that empowers advertisers and publishers of all sizes to grow their businesses online.
Awin pivoted to a four-day workweek after a successful 6-month 4 ½-day workweek pilot. There will be no reduction in salaries or client and partnership service level agreements.
Commenting on the move, Adam Ross, Awin’s Chief Operating Officer, said:
“With staff wellbeing at the forefront of our minds, we have been experimenting with a more modern approach to work focusing entirely on outcomes rather than a more traditional input measurement. The 4-day week is the culmination of this and offers Awin staff the opportunity to spend time with family, focus on a passion or engage in additional learning so that the time they do spend at work is the most productive it can be.”
Bit.io is a U.S.-based early-stage, well-funded startup that's remote-first. They're outcome-oriented, scientific, curious, respectful, resilient, and inclusive. Self-described as "the modern way to work with data", bit.io is building a zero-config, scalable cloud database with the social and community features of GitHub.
Bit.io has worked a four-day, 8-hour workweek since its founding in 2019.
Blackbird Interactive is a 300-person video game studio behind "Hardspace: Shipbreaker" and the upcoming strategy game "Homeworld 3".
On September 16, 2021, management at Blackbird Interactive sent out a survey to gauge interest in a four-day workweek. On February 10, 2022, the company announced in the Washington Post that "it will permanently adopt a Monday-Thursday workweek across all six of its projects."
Bolt is a $4 billion fintech company and the first tech unicorn to officially shift to a 4-day workweek. Bolt is on a mission to democratize commerce by setting a new standard for buying and selling online. Bolt-powered experiences level the commerce playing field to help retailers of all sizes sell more, grow faster, and be in control of their own destiny.
Ryan Breslow, founder and chairman of Bolt said that the reason they moved to the 4-day workweek was so the team could "work like a lion, not a cow." Bolt has seen increased productivity and lower stress levels from workers despite reduced hours.
Boulder County, CO
The Boulder County Clerk and Recorder's office moved to a four-day workweek with expanded hours Monday through Thursday following a successful four-month pilot program that tested the new operating days and hours.
Under the new schedule, most employees will work four 10 hour days instead of five eight-hour days.
Buffer is an intuitive, streamlined social media management platform trusted by brands, businesses, agencies, and individuals to help drive meaningful engagement and results on social media.
Buffer started trialing the four-day workweek in April 2020 and announced in February 2021 that they would be continuing four-day workweeks for the foreseeable future as the shorter workweeks gave employees a better work-life balance.
Calibre creates software for automated page speed testing, reporting, alerting, and monitoring. It's all-in-one web performance monitoring for professional teams.
Calibre first adopted a four-day workweek in May 2020 as an experimental response to the worsening COVID pandemic. The first experiment lasted five months and ended in November 2020. In June 2021, the company decided to move to a four-day workweek permanently.
Carbon Switch is your guide to more effective climate action. They spend thousands of hours crunching numbers and combing through energy data to create simple guides and recommendations to help you live more sustainably.
Carbon Switch offers a four-day workweek, four weeks of paid vacation each year, and a competitive healthcare plan.
For over 30 years, CIB has been creating the standard for all aspects of document lifecycle management. It has more than 160,000 customers and more than 300 businesses trust CIB's products and consulting services.
Since September 2021, more than 150 full-time employees of the CIB Group have been working a four-day, 36-hour workweek with the same salary and holiday entitlements. Thanks to workflow optimization and efficient planning.
Close is building the sales communication platform of the future. With their roots as the very first sales CRM to include built-in calling, they're leading the industry toward eliminating manual processes and helping companies to close more deals (faster).
Close allows its staff to choose between working a five-day workweek at standard pay or a four-day workweek at 80% pay.
Cockroach Labs helps organizations of all sizes–from single-person startups to multinational enterprises–manage their data seamlessly. CockroachDB is cloud-native, open-source, and is designed to make it easier for companies to build and scale apps.
Their version of the 4-day workweek is called: "Free Fridays". Free Fridays are meant to be a new kind of day that breaks the simple dichotomy most of us have lived our entire lives. They’re neither strictly for working nor strictly the start of the weekend. Waking up on a Friday as an employee at Cockroach Labs should feel a lot more like that special Saturday morning realization that you don’t have to rush into the daily grind.
Coconut Software makes appointment scheduling and lobby management solutions for financial institutions. Their software is used by leading banks and credit unions across North America, including RBC Royal Bank, Arvest Bank, Vancity, and Rogue Credit Union.
According to Katherine Regnier, CEO and co-founder, Coconut Software has moved to a four-day workweek so their team can feel their best when they come to work.
d.MBA’s mission is to show that companies can be run more thoughtfully and also be successful in the business sense. They see designers as agents of that mission and believe that the world would be a better place if more designers led companies.
They believe a healthy private life transfers to good professional life, so they offer a four-day workweek so you can have a long weekend and come back to work recharged every week!
Dassana is an open-source cloud security company on a mission to fix alert noise. They ingest any alert from any vendor then automatically contextualize and prioritize it.
They've embraced a four-day workweek and are only in the office Monday through Thursday. They'd rather you come 100% for all four days and get some solid R&R rather than spending your weekend catching up on adulting.
Deedmob is an online platform that stimulates people to volunteer. Their software enables people to meaningfully contribute their time, skills, and resources to address the world's toughest challenges. They also provide tools for organizations to manage or start their own volunteer program.
All of Deedmob's employees work a 4-day, 32-hour workweek.
Delivery Native is an early-stage startup building the future of restaurant SaaS. They've built cloud technology to scale restaurant operations and provide a modern online ordering experience and safe delivery and pick up.
They're remote first and offer the option to work four or five days per week so you can choose the level of work-life balance that works for you.
diesdas.digital is a creative studio of ~25 people in Berlin-Kreuzberg. They work on digital projects branding from digital product development to brand strategy.
diesdas.digital has no core working hours, which means you can work whenever you want and take breaks how you see fit, as long as your immediate team is fine with it and at the end of the week it all adds up to 38 hours (if you work five days) or 32 hours (if you work four days).
eFileCabinet is focused on helping businesses of any size to improve their productivity and profitability by reducing paper within their operations and streamlining their work processes.
They believe everyone needs a break, so their hours of operations are Monday-Thursday. The team enjoys three-day weekends!
Eidos-Montréal is a gaming studio focused on creating immersive and captivating experiences. As part of the Square Enix group, they have worked on a variety of iconic IPs, including Deus Ex, Thief, Tomb Raider, Marvel’s Avengers, and more.
David Anfossi, Head of Studio, announced their move to a 4-day week for all employees in a blog post. There is no change to working conditions or salaries of employees.
Elephant Ventures is a software and data engineering company that has a compressed workweek. Employees are expected to work 10-hour workdays, Monday through Thursday.
"Fridays we are off and we are trying to encourage pencils down, no emails or Slack. We want to really hold the time open," said President and Founder Art Shectman.
Encore is the simplest way to find and book outstanding musicians. It's the UK's fastest-growing marketplace in the category and is trusted by thousands of customers every year.
Encore is open to you crafting your own schedule. Many of the teamwork a 9-day fortnight or a 4-day week.
Feathr creates strategic and financial value for its customers, employees, and investors by becoming a leading provider of digital marketing products, services, and education. They're focused on helping nonprofits and event organizers create more engaging experiences for their audiences and members by using data and technology.
As of January 1, 2021, Feathr has switched to a four-day workweek with the same compensation as when they were working five days.
Firmsy builds game-changing automation software for contemporary law firms, so they can stop living life in billable hours. Their mission is to help 1 million lawyers build their dream law firms together they'll revolutionize the legal industry.
Working at Firmsy means you get paid for five days but only work four.
Formedix makes an all-in-one cloud-based clinical metadata repository and automation platform for the pharmaceutical industry. They help pharma companies and their partners run clinical trials more quickly and efficiently.
They also think it's important to give their employees a healthy work-life balance, which is why they offer a 34 hour, 4 day week for the same pay! They also have flexible hours (core hours of 10 am to 3:30 pm) and 32 days holiday a year!
Galt is a pharmaceutical company based in the United States that has found a better way to enhance the quality of life of patients with products that meet unmet clinical needs while creating life-changing opportunities for entrepreneurs, our employees, and the individuals within the communities they serve.
Barry Patel, CEO and co-founder, announced on LinkedIn that Galt was moving to a four-day workweek to give employees time to “recharge batteries and dedicate to the self and family.”
Grounded Packing is on a mission to make sustainable packaging simple. Their packaging solutions help businesses in APAC, North America, and Europe move towards a circular economy, reduce their carbon footprint, and build a more sustainable future for the world.
Grounded work a 4.5-day working week and finish early on Fridays, grab lunch together, and welcome the weekend early.
Headspace was created with one mission in mind: to improve the health and happiness of the world. Reaching more than 65 million users in 190 countries, Headspace was one of the first meditation apps in the world and remains a leader in mindfulness and mental training.
Headspace has a four-day workweek every other week and a five-day week with no meetings on the Friday you do work. The Friday off is called a "MindDay" all employees are actively encouraged to take the day off for their mind.
ICE Group is an Irish company that specializes in installation operation, repair and maintenance of large commercial and industrial cooling systems, heating systems, boiler systems, and building control systems.
When Margaret Cox, Director of ICE Group, announced the move to a four-day week she was greed with “absolute silence.” Staff thought the announcement was some kind of joke.
It wasn’t. Hours were cut by 20% but salaries, holiday allowance, and other benefits remained the same.
ImprovMX lets you create free email aliases for your domain name. They're growing at a very quick pace, doubling revenues each year with 18M emails forwarded per month, 50,000+ free users, and 3,000+ paying customers.
ImprovMX has a four-day, 32-hour workweek and is remote-first.
InDebted is an Australia-based debt-collection startup that leverages machine learning to understand consumer preferences for servicing overdue accounts. They couple this with an exceptional customer experience to enable their clients to better support the financial wellbeing of their customers.
InDebted announced on September 15, 2021 that they would move to a four-day workweek (4DWW) after 5 years of operation while ensuring customer service continued to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
JAYU is a Toronto-based organization that strives to tell human rights stories through the arts. Gilad Cohen, Founder and Executive Director of JAYU said in a tweet:
Jexo is a small but very fast-growing startup that builds Jira apps. They've got about 2,800 installations, over 1,300 paying customers, and 6 apps which means they're on the way to becoming quite big in the Atlassian Cloud ecosystem.
Jexo works a 4-day, 32-hour week along with other great benefits like regular salary adjustments, paid time off, and equity for employees.
Justuno launched back in 2011 to create software that converts more website traffic into customers with personalized onsite messaging at every touchpoint.
On January 27, 2022, Justuno announced that they would be permanently moving to a four-day workweek, giving their team Fridays off to recharge, reset, and do the things that bring them joy.
LAB Group is five agencies united by a common philosophy. To provide innovative technology, research, creative, and marketing services to promote, and transform their clients' businesses.
LAB Group cares about the humans behind the tech and works a four-day, 36-hour workweek at 100% pay.
Lime works closely with healthcare organizations by offering an end-to-end patient relationship platform to improve the quality of care and healthcare services. Their HCAPS and Accreditation Canada survey tools allow organizations to get instant feedback, measure the impact of process changes, and quickly act on improvements.
Lime has "freedays". No meetings and no professional engagements every Friday of the year.
Maaemo is a three Michelin star restaurant located in Dronning Eufemias gate in Oslo, Norway.
In contrast to the rest of the restaurant industry’s 15-hour shifts and 85-hour weeks, Maeemo’s 3-day workweek looks absurd. They started with a four-day workweek and saw success and decided to take it further. Maaemo now crams 45 hours into three days per week.
MeiliSearch is a powerful, fast, open-source, easy to use and deploy search engine. Both searching and indexing are highly customizable and features such as typo-tolerance, filters, and synonyms are provided out-of-the-box.
According to Morgane Neff, MeiliSearch's HR manager, Friday is a "free day":
"There is no obligation to work, or not to work for that matter, which can be a good way to reduce the pressure we may have about our productivity. We don't ask anyone to indicate if they worked on a Friday. The only rules that exist are:
- No internal meetings can be scheduled on a Friday
- When requesting time off for one or more full weeks, Friday must be included in the request"
Mizuho Financial Group
Mizuho Financial Group is a banking holding company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. During the coronavirus pandemic, the company wanted to provide flexibility to its 45,000 employees by giving them the option to work three or four days a week.
Unlike many other companies offering flexible work arrangements, employees who choose to work three days will receive 60% of their salary and those who opt for four will earn 80%. A five-day workweek is still available as well.
Under the new system, employees who work three days would get 60% of their current salary and those who opt for four days would earn 80% of their income. Employees can still opt to stick to five working days.
Monograph is a San Francisco-based software company that has been working a four-day workweek since it was founded.
Robert Yuen, a co-founder of Monograph, wrote in Fast Company that he has "found that giving my employees the option to take a “mid-weekend,” as we’ve come to call it, provides them with a much-needed day off in the middle of the week to rest and recuperate—not only to power through the rest of their tasks, but also to keep their mental strength high when in deep-focus mode."
MRL Consulting Group
MRL Consulting Group is a global specialist recruitment firm for niche high technology and financial markets trialed a 4-day working week beginning on 13 May 2019. By December, the results were in and MRL permanently moved to a four-day working week with no change to compensation or employee benefits.
Reporting on the benefits, MRL said:
“Six months later, our productivity is up 25 per cent, the average fee has increased and short term absence has reduced by 40 per cent. The conversation kickstarter – retention – is at a record high for MRL of 95 per cent and three quarters of the team say they find it easier to concentrate at work. Clearly, there’s a business case for the four-day working week. Importantly, the incredible team at MRL are also feeling the benefit. Almost everyone agreed that they feel more rested after the three-day weekend and 87 per cent said that their mental health now feels more in balance.”
Nectafy is a growth content company that helps their B2B clients attract leads with content that they are proud of.
Nectafy began offering its employees a four-day workweek in 2020 in response to the pandemic.
Nomad began as a Kickstarter project in 2012. Noah Dentzel & Brian Hahn met in Santa Barbara, CA, and set out with a vision of creating a minimalist iPhone cable that would seamlessly integrate into your everyday carry. ChargeCard, Nomad's first product, launched on Kickstarter on July 18th, 2012. Like many startups, Nomad relied on help from friends, family, and strangers to bring Nomad from concept to reality. They started off in Noah's grandma's basement and bounced around from Agoura Hills to San Francisco and finally back to Santa Barbara, California, where they are headquartered now.
Nomad offers their staff:
- Medical, Dental, and Vision insurance
- Generous 5% Match on 401K
- 4-day workweek
- Unlimited Paid Time Off (PTO)
Officely makes your office reopening simple by automating desk booking, health surveys, vaccine approvals, and contract tracing in Slack.
They've amassed 35,000 WAUs since launching in 2021 and have grown revenue from $0 to $50k MRR (as of November 2021), all while working a four-day workweek.
Panasonic is a major Japanese multinational conglomerate company that was founded by Kōnosuke Matsushita in 1918 as a lightbulb socket manufacturer.
Panasonic President Kusumi Yuki announced that they give employees the option of scaling down to a 4-day week to support more diversity in work styles. Panasonic will also encourage more staff to work remotely and will give employees a choice over whether to accept transfers that require moving to different cities without their families.
PDQ.com (formerly Admin Arsenal) is a Salt Lake City-based company that came into existence after the founders spent their professional lives supporting IBM Tivoli Framework and Microsoft SCCM for very large organizations (10,000+ systems).
PDQ.com believes in true work-life balance which is one of the reasons they operate on a 4-day, 36-hour workweek.
Perpetual Guardian is a New Zealand company that started trailing a four-day working week in March 2018. Academics who studied the trial found the staff at the firm's offices reported lower stress levels, higher levels of job satisfaction, and an improved sense of work-life balance.
Perpetual Guardian's founder, Andrew Barnes, told The Guardian:
“For us, this is about our company getting improved productivity from greater workplace efficiencies … there’s no downside for us."
Piktochart is a web-based infographic, presentation, and report tool that lets users without intensive experience as graphic designers create good visuals.
Ai Ching Goh, CEO of Piktochart, announced on October 13, 2020, that they would begin experimenting with a 4-day workweek in Q4 2020. They have since made it permanent to give staff longer weekends to spend on learning or enjoying time with loved ones.
Practice Pal is an innovative remote video app helping music learners of all ages to pick up their instruments and get practicing. Rehearsing for lessons, exams, and music groups have been transformed with the Practice Pal app – students are mentored by professional musicians who listen in, watch your technique, give live feedback and send a report with advice and tips after each session.
Radioactive PR is a full-service PR agency, founded in 2014. Rich Leigh, founder, and director of Radioactive PR announced in 2018 that the company would be moving to a 4-day workweek without cutting pay.
A year after going 4-day, same pay, the company saw its turnover increase by 69.4% and gross and net profit stay more or less the same.
Reboot is an SEO company that announced the move to a four-day week on August 12, 2021, following a 702% increase in results and output. The team will retain the same daily working hours between Monday to Thursday and will not have to pick up any additional hours to compensate for the Friday off.
They also will not be amending employees' salaries. The shorter working hours will not affect pay.
SEOMG! is an SEO consultancy focused on driving a measurable return on your investment. Founded in 2020 (of all years) by Dan Adam and Luke Smith, the goal of SEOMG! is simple, to utilize agency background (leading SEO departments), combined with in-house and consultancy experience, to provide a better service for clients.
They're currently a team of ten working four days per week since the outset in May 2020.
Shape builds software to help manage construction projects. The team is primarily spread across the UK and Portugal but works completely remotely. Their primary focus is not to build a product, but to build a community that enables a fulfilled life, whatever your meaning is.
Shape operates on a 4 day week (32 hours) to give the team more work-life balance.
Smalls makes homemade food for cats that are prepared with 100% human-grade ingredients, leaving the fillers, mystery ingredients, and 25-year shelf lives of traditional pet "food" behind.
Small is a fully remote company with team members located across all four US time zones and works a four-day week with Fridays off!
Software DELSOL is a Spanish company based in Jaén, a city in southern Spain. In 2020, Software DELSOL became the first company in Spain to adopt a 36-hour, 4-day workweek with no loss in pay for its 185 employees.
Ana Arroyo, Head of People Selection and Development, told El Pais:
“The experience has been positive. Absenteeism fell 20% the first year because people stopped using company hours for personal errands. It also improved camaraderie and commitment to the company.”
The company has been growing by 20% annually since the four-day week was adopted.
Standard Notes builds an end-to-end encrypted note-taking application for digitalists and professionals. They offer a flexible schedule where you can design your schedule however you like as long as you work a 32-hour workweek.
Starship is working hard to create the healthy future we all deserve by transforming the way people pay for healthcare. They’re passionate about empowering their customers to take greater control of their financial health and personal wellness, building a better tomorrow through superior technology and user experience.
Sean Engelking, Starship’s CEO and co-founder, announced on LinkedIn that the company would be moving to a four-day workweek in 2022:
“Starting next year, all Fridays will be treated like another weekend day. That means more time with family and friends, and more time to recharge and bring that back to work on Monday.
There are a couple of obvious reasons why we’re doing this. The first is that we’re getting more done and trust that this will continue. The second is that we believe this moment demands a renewed focus on mental health and work-life balance.”
Stora is the "Shopify of Self Storage", their software helps self storage operators run their business online. It has a back office where operators can manage the business and a storefront they can customize to market and sell, and a customer portal for people to manage bookings.
Stora operates on a 4-day workweek, is remote-first by design, and supports flexible working hours.
Swash Labs is a small advertising agency that was established in 2011. Their team is located in Denton, Austin, Chicago, and Grass Valley. They work together with their clients to help their organizations grow and thrive by unifying, simplifying, and amplifying their stories.
On December 16, 2021, founder Josh Berthume outlined why they were moving to a four-day workweek:
“Earlier this year we tried what we called the Swash Summer Slowdown, in which everyone got one half day off per week, on a set and consistent schedule. This ended up as something of a pilot program for the 4 day work week, but we weren’t at all sure we wanted to commit to what felt like such a big change without hearing from staff about how they thought the Slowdown went. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive: just four extra hours during the work week gave everyone the opportunity to build their week around not just what they had to do, but around what they wanted to do, when they wanted to do it....So now we’re expanding those four hours given back per week to eight hours.”
TAC Security is a cybersecurity company that has shifted to a four-day workweek for its office in Mumbai after it saw increased productivity after seven months of testing it.
The new schedule has TAC employees working 12 hours a day, four days a week.
"It's all about keeping standards of execution high, while still putting the team's health and well-being first. Being a young company with young people, we can experiment with anything possible to ensure the team members' work-life balance."
Talewind is a new, professional UK studio working on Roblox. They're on a quest to better the metaverse with games that are fresh, fun, and full of adventure.
They're fully remote and have a 4-day working week, Monday to Thursday, so Fridays are yours!
Target Publishing is a leading publisher that was established in 2000. Its natural health, integrative health, sport, and education content is read by millions of people each month.
After cutting staff pay after the first coronavirus lockdown, the magazine group felt it had to make a positive gesture to employees, so it introduced a four-day week. The shift bought immediate benefits: staff worked more effectively.
When the situation improved, Target’s founder and owner, David Cann reinstated everyone’s pay but kept the four-day week. According to Cann in the Guardian: “We see huge benefits and because everyone wants it to work, you get an upside in higher profits.”
The Ecomm Manager
The Ecomm Manager is a trusted resource for eCommerce industry professionals looking to up-skill and find ways to work smarter. The firm introduced a 4-day workweek to let employees enjoy more time off while still earning a full salary.
The Financial Diet
The Financial Diet combines all the best qualities of a premium lifestyle brand (distinct visual style, relatable stories, and charismatic influencers), with the reliability of a trusted educational source.
Chelsea Fagan, co-founder and CEO of The Financial Diet said on Twitter:
The United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates is moving federal employees to a four-and-a-half day work week to “boost productivity and improve work-life balance.”
From January 1, 2022, the weekend will start at 12 p.m. local time on Friday and run until Sunday night, the government said. The current weekend runs from Thursday night to Saturday night.
The Wanderlust Group
The Wanderlust Group is an outdoor technology company composed of Dockwa, Marinas.com, and Campouts.com that was founded in 2014. They believe the world is a better place when people are able to spend time outdoors, connect to nature and each other.
So it's probably not surprising that they believe in the value of time spent away from screens. They ask their team to be offline on Monday. They also don't limit vacation days.
Think Productive is a UK-based company that has been working a 4 day week (4DW) since November 2011. At the time, they were one of only a handful of companies in the world who ditched the 5-day workweek in favor of a permanent 3-day weekend.
The move was led by Graham Allcott (founder) and Elena Kerrigan (MD) who had seen various studies that looked at the law of diminishing returns in knowledge work. They ran a 1-month trial and measured productivity and stress levels via staff survey and found that they got the same amount done but were much happier.
Over 100,000 developers and designers use Tower's Git client to be more productive. They're passionate about remote work and flexibility, so they allow people to choose whether they want to work a 4-day week. Employees are encouraged to pursue a life beyond work and most of the team have kids.
Tuple builds the best remote pair programming app for macOS. They believe that developers deserve better than generic screen sharing. It gives mouse and keyboard control to both parties. Handing off control takes one click, so you never need to dictate what you want your pair to do.
While not strictly a four-day workweek company, Tuple is open to people working four days if they want to.
Uncharted is a social impact accelerator that supports early-stage solutions addressing economic inequality in America. Before Uncharted instituted a four-day workweek, co-founder and CEO Banks Benitez and his team had to figure out how to adopt it by reimagining work norms.
Benitz told CNBC: "there are many parts of the workweek that are just a waste of time...it's been a great forcing function for us to think different."
Unito is a no-code integration platform that helps you connect apps and automate workflows. Its deep, bidirectional flows cover more use cases, sync more fields, and update in real-time.
According to their blog post, the global pandemic was a turning point that exposed bad habits and inefficient practices. In short, it showed how people work is more important than where or when they work. This led to the implementation of an optional four-day week which gives employees 80% of their salary and benefits while retaining full health coverage.
Uplift's mission is to perfect your work-life while learning, building, and enjoying your free time. They're a fully remote workforce and have been doing software development and design for a long time.
They're completely bootstrapped and open to all working schedules (e.g. 4-day workweek, 20 hours per week, etc.)
UsabilityHub is a remote user research platform that helps take the guesswork out of design decisions by validating them with real users. One of their values is to do more with less, so they're comfortable making compromises where needed and they prefer to work on a few great things over many mediocre ones.
UsabilityHub supports a flexible work schedule that allows employees to choose between a 5-, 4.5-, or 4-day workweek.
Vaxine solves the global write-path latency problem for backend applications. They're a small, technical, multi-disciplinary team that's passionate about database engineering and developer experience.
They work remote-first, on European time, with a four-day week.
Volt Athletics is on a mission to take the guesswork out of fitness. They believe everyone deserves access to amazing training, so they want to make world-class, research-based workouts accessible to everyone, everywhere.
Like most of the world, Volt Athletics went remote in response to the pandemic in early March of 2020 and committed to staying remote to at least the end of 2020. As they navigated the challenges of building a remote company culture, they found that Fridays weren’t as fun when you were burnt out and stuck at home. So they made a change, switching to a compressed four-day workweek with Friday as a flex day:
“Our team could use Friday to relax, go for a hike, hang out with friends and family, work on projects, catch up on emails, or even write Medium posts like this one! All we asked was for our team to do their best to maintain the productivity levels of a typical five-day workweek.”
Welcome to the Jungle
Welcome to the Jungle builds products and creates content that transforms every step of the candidate and employee experience. They've been working a four-day week since 2019 after five months of testing it out.
After the trial ended, the company decided to implement the four-day week without impacting salaries.
Wildbit has always been focused on employee work-life balance. Natalie, the CEO of Wilbit wrote in their post about experimenting with a 4-day workweek in 2017:
“I want to make sure our team has plenty of time to do the stuff they love outside of work. Unfortunately, a lot of companies have built environments where it’s expected, or at least the workload encourages, working much longer days…So starting next week, we’re going to give it a shot. The entire team will work only 4 days a week. We will not be tacking on an extra hour to the other 4 days. We will just be working 32 hours.”
Since then, the company continues to work four days a week.
Wonderlic builds software that leverages cognitive ability, personality, and motivation assessments to accurately help employers figure out the best applicants for their advertised positions with the goal of minimizing bias within the hiring process.
A few weeks after Becca Callahan became CEO, she made the decision to permanently move to a 32-hour, four-day workweek after evaluating data derived from their 12-week summerlong trial and the positive findings coming out of trials in Iceland, Japan, and the U.S.
Yac is a voice messaging platform for remote teams.
Yac operates a four-day workweek to give their people flexibility. With a 32-hour workweek instead of a 40-hour workweek, they've seen people get their work done while traveling the world, giving back to their communities, and starting passion projects.
YWCA Scotland is a feminist organization and part of a worldwide movement of women leading change. Their vision is a world where every woman can shape their own life journey and fulfill her potential, where the voices of women are heard, respected, and celebrated.
YWCA Scotland moved to a 4-day working week following their own Status of Young Women in Scotland 2020-2021 report:
“Our own organization is transitioning to this new model of working in July 2021. Young women told us clearly that flexible working is key to their feeling more supported at work - either in terms of flexible hours or opportunities to work from home to fit with their lifestyles, health needs, and caring responsibilities.“
3 companies with seasonal 4-day workweeks
Basecamp builds an all-in-one toolkit for working remotely. For more than two decades, Basecamp has been proving that you don't need to be a big company to have a big impact. Their team created Ruby on Rails, wrote a number of influential and NYT best-selling books, and has been pioneers of remote work well before it was in vogue.
Basecamp has Summer Hours:
“During summer, we work 4-day work weeks, aka “summer hours”. Summer hours are in effect from May 1 through August 31 each year.”
They don’t cram 40 hours into 4 days, instead, they work a flat 32 hours.
MINIMAL is a Chicago-based design firm that was founded in 2007 by Scott Wilson, former Nike Global Design Director and one of TIME magazine's and Fast Company's Most Influential Designers. MINIMAL is compromised of an eclectic team of designers, storytellers, strategists, developers, and engineers who have worked at industry-leading companies like IDEO, Nike, Motorola, Leo Burnett, Fallon, and Abbott.
Wilson was fatigued and worn down by the COVID world, and knew that his team could only be feeling worse. So in the summer of 2020, he instituted a season four-day week.
2020 ended up almost being MINIMAL’s best year. Wilson said to Fast Company:
“The focused work, the detailed work, the final work product was as good or better than I’d seen prior.”
Shopify is the leading omnichannel commerce platform. Business owners can use the software to design, set up, and manage their stores across multiple sales channels, including web, mobile, social media, marketplaces, brick-and-mortar locations, and pop-up shops.
Amid the COVID pandemic in 2020, Shopify reduced hours to 32 per week for summer and switched to a four-day workweek. They also have no meeting Wednesdays which is a great way to find long hours of uninterrupted time for deep work.
24 companies trialing a 4-day workweek
Advanced RV builds personalized Class B Mercedes-Benz RVs designed for the most discerning RV travelers.
Advanced RV currently works a 40-hour schedule, however, it plans to begin experimenting with a four-day, 32-hour workweek come April.
Bunny Studio is an end-to-end platform that lets you hire freelancers for your creative projects. It's trusted by companies like SONOS, Airbnb, Atlassian, Disney, Adswizz, and Hotjar.
On August 25, 2020, Maika Hoekman, Head of People Operations, said that Bunny Studio would test a shortened workweek as of August 13, 2021, they continue to experiment with the four-day workweek.
City of Morgantown, WV
Morgantown announced on May 20, 2020, that most city employees would begin a four-day workweek with 10-hour days. The pilot program began on July 6 and had employees working 7 .a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Rather than reducing hours, the city opted to have employees work 40 hours in four days. The idea behind the move was that it would allow departments to operate earlier and later, so residents could come in before or after work, rather than taking time out from work.
DNSFilter provides industry-leading DNS threat protection and content filtering. Asim Baksh, People Operations Lead at DNSFilter wrote:
"We have been fully remote since our inception, have championed innovative benefits like continuing education and home office build-outs, and we practice virtually total transparency with our internal team. We believe this investment in our culture has been a key to our success, but it requires constant evaluation to ensure we’re providing the best environment for our employees to succeed.
That’s why when Iceland ran a 4-day workweek trial, we decided to follow suit."
Their four-day workweek is a little different, they rotate two groups who have each Friday off. This allows them to maintain full customer support and incident response coverage while giving everybody at least two 3-day-weekends per month.
Edify connects businesses with customers and employees with each other. They have a remote work policy, social action committee, fully pay employee health care premiums, and offer unlimited PTO.
That's why they've decided to pilot the 4-Day Workweek. Under the pilot, each department's commitments will stay the same and the customer success team will continue to support customers 24/7 with each member of that team working an alternative four-day schedule.
Evolved Search was born out of a belief that there is a better way of delivering performance online. Since 2014, they've worked with businesses that want to take their search campaigns and online visibility to another level.
Unlike many agencies, they focus solely upon SEO and the components that sit within it to achieve maximum growth for our clients.
Their trial of a 4-day week runs from the start of August 2021 through to the end of January 2022 – 6 months overall – to gather data on staff wellbeing, efficiency, and more. Should it be successful, our senior management team anticipates a permanent roll-out of the approach.
Fifth Tribe is a D.C.-based digital agency that specializes in product design, web and mobile development, and digital marketing. The team works a nine-day work bi-week. Half the team has one Friday off, and the other half has the next off.
When asked whether it would be permanent or not, CEO Khuram Zaman said:
"In terms of whether it’s indefinite or not: We had initially conceived of it as just being a two-month test in the summer but everyone liked it. I think right now we’re doing it on a quarter-by-quarter basis. I think once we return to a semblance of normalcy, we might just keep it with the summer. However, right now, the cognitive overload is high and having an extra day off every other week is helpful."
G2i stands for Good News to the Internet and they're on a mission to be an uplifting force in the tech industry by matching healthy remote developers with healthy engineering teams. Their vision is for the hiring process to be simple, trustworthy, and enjoyable for both companies and engineers.
Gabe Greenberg, CEO and founder of G2i said on Twitter that they work a 32-hour workweek every second week:
GooseChase is an online platform that helps you run real-world scavenger hunts. They think the world needs more fun, so we built GooseChase for people to create engaging, goofy, and out-of-the-ordinary experiences to be enjoyed from anywhere.
GooseChase started experimenting with a 32 hour week in June 2021 and announced in September 2021 that they are very likely to continue working 4 days per week permanently.
Healthwise, a leader in evidence-based health education, is a nonprofit organization that empowers people to live their healthiest lives. More than 2 billion times, people have turned to Healthwise information to help navigate their unique health journeys with confidence. Leading hospitals, EMR providers, health plans, care management companies, health websites, and technology innovators partner with Healthwise to provide the world’s best health information—and achieve better outcomes for patients and businesses.
The company is currently running a four-day workweek pilot which was a big contributing factor to them receiving an Idaho Top Workplaces 2021 Award.
Kickstarter is a New York-based crowdfunding platform that announced it would pilot a four-day workweek. Despite the reduced hours, workers will still receive the same pay.
“I fundamentally believe that something like this would allow us to be more potent as a group,” Kickstarter CEO Aziz Hasan said. “It’s really about — if our time and attention are focused as best as it can be in those four days — can we have a more potent impact on the things that we care about from a professional standpoint, so that it opens up so much more range for us personally?”
Microsoft Japan trialed a four-day workweek in 2019 and found that it increased productivity by 40%. Employees continue to receive their normal, five-day paycheck.
Because of the shorter workweek, the company also put its meetings on a diet. The standard duration for a meeting went from 60 to 30 minutes and capped attendance at five employees. It also urged people to use asynchronous communication channels instead of "wasteful" emails and meetings.
Morrisons is the fourth largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom and is headquartered in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England.
The chain is trying out a more flexible working arrangement at its head office for six months with staff working only four days a week for the same pay. Staff will be expected to work the same hours over the four days.
Praytell, a creative communications agency that helps earn attention for brands that matter and clients that get it, announced it would be trialing a 32 hour, four-day workweek starting October 1, 2021.
CEO Andy Pray said:
"We’ll have around 70% of our team working Monday through Thursday and 30% working Tuesday through Friday. Teams will need to be stacked similarly to how they are now, but with a new model of senior coverage across every day of the week to ensure we continue to meet the needs of our deserving client partners and a growing agency."
Renesas Electronics authorized a four-day workweek on a rotating basis from May 11, 2020, to the end of June. The schedule applied to about 5,000 employees or just over a quarter of their workforce (excluding factor workers).
The extra day off was considered leave time, meaning employees received 80% of their pay.
Shake Shack, an American fast-casual restaurant chain based in New York City, announced on February 21, 2020, that they would be moving many employees to a 32-hour week without cutting pay.
As of September 2021, Shake Shack has put the program on pause due to the COVID pandemic. However, they said, "there's always a possibility it could return in the future."
Technical.ly, a news organization that helps you navigate your career, announced in August 2021 that it would be testing the four-day workweek and encouraging employees to use their paid time off on the Fridays of August while giving everyone the last Friday of the month off.
thredUP is shaping the future of fashion by building a company that inspires a new generation of consumers and brands to think secondhand first. They're working hard to reduce fashion's impact on the planet by promoting a less wasteful lifestyle.
thredUP founder and CEO James Reinhart outlined in a Founder's Field Guide interview that they were trialing a four-day workweek for six months:
“At the beginning of the year, we moved to a four-day workweek, which I spent a lot of time thinking about, the management teams had a lot of time thinking about. We came to the decision that people do their best work when they're fresh and they're recharged, they're fired up about coming into work. There's something about the three-day weekend we've all experienced it where having that extra day, you could come back into the office and you're like, ‘Man, it was great to have Monday. It was great to have Friday.’ You're ready to hit it hard again because you just had that extra day of recharge. So we're experimenting now, we're in the middle, it's a six-month experiment.”
THRYVE, one of Germany's most trusted tech talent partners, announced on October 19, 2021 that they would be “trialing the Monday to Thursday work week with no reduction in pay and no increase in the hours worked on those days. We average about 8 right now, and that’s not going to go up.”
The trial is based on two main reasons:
- To prioritize the wellbeing, happiness, and health of their staff
- For productivity – they believe they can produce better results and delivery for their partners by being more focused and productive
They've spent the last two years evaluating research and data and have spoken to a number of people who have trialed and implemented it including the CEO of MRL Consulting Group.
Toshiba began its trial of a four-day workweek in June 2020 for employees on the plant floor. Workers worked longer hours while on-site in exchange for one more day off a week.
This represented about 10,000 of Toshiba's roughly 76,000 employees.
It was part of a broader effort to contain the spread of coronavirus by reducing the number of people at work and commuting.
Tulip provides a suite of cloud-based solutions that let retailers overcome industry challenges and set a new standard for omnichannel commerce. Partnered with Apple and Salesforce, Tulip equips sophisticated retailers to build connections with customers, fulfill orders, checkout purchases, and optimize operations in order to create the end-to-end experience modern customers expect.
On September 21 2021, Tulip announced it was piloting a 4 or 4.5-day week for employees based on recent studies out of Iceland demonstrating resultant increases in productivity and satisfaction.
Unilever New Zealand
Unilever New Zealand said staff at its New Zealand offices would be able to work four days, starting in December 2020 until December 2021. The aim is to get the same amount of work done in fewer hours for the same pay.
Nick Bangs, Managing director of Unilever New Zealand, told the New York Times that the goal was to "measure performance on output not time. We believe the old ways of working are outdated and no longer fit for purpose.”
Uplevel software to help you meet our product release goals without burning your people out. Their engineering insights solution leverages data from developer tools to help reliably meet sprint goals without burning out teams.
Uplevel is planning to implement a four-day workweek to enhance the productivity and happiness of its employees.
Venture Stream is a full-service digital marketing and e-commerce consultancy based in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, with hubs across the United Kingdom.
According to Emily Crosby, PR & Content Executive, Venture Stream is trialing a 4-day workweek:
“Beginning on Monday 6th September, we’ll be trialing the new four-day working week for a three month period to see how both our staff and clients respond, but we have every intention of making the change permanent. There will be no loss of pay or benefits for the VS team, nor will they have to work longer days to facilitate the new structure.”
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