Making the Case for the 4-day work week

It sounds too good to be true, but a four-day workweek might be the answer for a boost in productivity around the office.

An experimental trial conducted earlier this year by New Zealand Trust firm, Perpetual Guardian, found that cutting back on their 40-hour week schedule had its benefits. The research took several weeks but found that not only did it reduce stress among its staff, but it also improved productivity.

Perpetual Guardian founder Andrew Barnes said he gave the trial a shot after he read a report that mentioned the benefits of a three-hour workday, he said that it motivated him to improve the work-life balance of his employees.

After the trial, the company claimed that there was a 20 percent boost in productivity and there were more positive interactions between employees, staff, and management.

Perpetual Guardian will be looking to implement the 32- hour model as an option to its full-time employees starting next year.

Other companies and countries around the globe have also been experimenting with their own types of trials. Sweden mandated a strict 6-hour workday for full-time employees and the results were successful. Norway flaunts having the happiest citizens in the world due to its 27-work week, one of the shortest in the world.

Japan also found itself forced to implement policies and fines to urge companies to consider a four-day workweek after a series of reports of its citizens overworking themselves to death. These work-related tragedies are so common that there is a word for them, “Karoshi” which means death by overwork.

In order to combat this problem some companies have forced employees to wear “shame capes” if caught overworking on particular days, other companies have gone as using drones to play loud music at staff trying to stay overnight.

Not everyone agrees though. Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk claims that in order to change the world you should get used to working more than 80-hours per week. Musk also boasted on Tesla employees powering through a 100-hour work week last quarter.

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