Yet another success story for the 4-day workweek. Fast Company followed Wildbit’s – a small Philadelphia software company – shift to a 4-day week in May 2017. Overall, it went well, in following with the trend of other companies going for the big four.
Last March, a New Zealand company of 240 employees, Perpetual Guardian, tested it out for two months and reported greater productivity; they decided to make the change full-time in October. Indiana firm Reusser Design has had 4-day workweeks with longer working days since 2013.
There have been some busts, however: tech education company Treehouse had a 4-hour workweek since 2006; in 2016, however, they laid off 20% of its workforce and instituted a 5-day workweek. In 2008, Utah enforced a 4-day week with ten-hour days for state employees to save on operating costs, but the program only lasted three years.
Wildbit already had a flexible work schedule in place, and most of the team worked remotely. When the team went to a 4-day workweek, they had to make a few tweaks – not everyone could have Fridays off; some employees had to cover and have Mondays off instead.
And cofounder Natalie Nagele is tinkering with the schedule – with shorter, darker winter days coming, she might replace the 4-day workweek with five short workdays for the winter, saving the truncated workweek for the spring and summer months.
Productivity is up: Nagele said that upon review of the first year of 4-day workweeks, “we realized we launched more features than the previous year.”
She stressed that the beauty of the 4-day workweek was the pressure to work smart and hard during the four days “on,” combined with the “forced downtime” of the three days off – emailing off the clock and other unnecessary disruptions just isn’t part of the culture.