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A CEO who implemented a 4-day workweek in July says her company ‘will never go back.’ It boosted revenue and morale

Fortune
Fortune
 2021-12-01
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A 32-hour workweek, no pay cuts, and a regular three-day weekend?

It’s not a dream, it’s a reality, according to media CEO Chelsea Fagan, who says she’s been implementing four-day workweeks since July.

“Regular reminder that we switched to a 4-day workweek earlier this year and will never go back,” the founder of the Financial Diet wrote in a Nov. 23 tweet that got more than 7,000 likes. “Revenue increased, everyone’s happier, the same work gets done. And also three days is the minimum for a good weekend lol.”

Fagan did not respond to Fortune’s request for comment.

Her post came in response to a recent New York Times article describing the children’s clothing retailer Primary and its move to a four-day week in May of 2020. As an experiment, the company shaved off a Friday workday in response to pandemic-induced anxiety among employees, intending to prevent worker burnout, according to the Times. Primary said the longer weekend was working so well for its staff by December that the firm extended it.

Their voluntary attrition rate fell, and the chief experience officer Cap Watkins told the paper that “people feel recharged on Monday.”

A recent survey of more than 1,000 people conducted by a consulting firm found that 83% of U.S. workers believe a four-day workweek would ease burnout, and 53% report that they are experiencing burnout themselves.

Amid the Great Resignation, and in an effort to retain their employees, a flurry of other companies will try a shorter workweek in the new year, including Kickstarter and Microsoft Japan.

The idea of a four-day workweek seems to be catching on, but the concept of doing the same amount of work in less time has been around for years.

In Iceland, about 86% of workers currently have, or have the right to, shorter working hours, according to a report on Icelandic workers’ schedules published in June of this year. At the beginning of 2021, the Spanish government devoted $60 million to move some companies to a shorter working week model with no pay cuts.

The shorter week appears to have reduced stress for Icelandic workers. According to the report, which assessed two trials between 2015 and 2019 that studied over 1% of workers in Iceland, shortening workweeks by at least five hours offered people “greater well-being” and “a better cooperative spirit in the workplace” without interrupting productivity levels. In some cases, productivity improved.

The Financial Diet noted in a July LinkedIn post that its new schedule required staff to get more efficient with their meetings and their deadlines, and the company’s revenue increased during this period as well.

“I will not entertain anyone in my mentions whining about jobs that need constant coverage,” Fagan wrote on Twitter. “Cut executive pay and hire more people to cover more shifts. No one person needs to be working more than four days, and everyone deserves three days a week to vibe.”

Comments / 299

Garry Illges
12-02

I did something similar with our company over 20 years ago. I pay my employees for 40 hours salary. They have 4 ten hour days. When they complete their job for that day they can get off work earlier. Most employees work about 34 hours because of the incentive. They also can choose if they want Friday, Saturday and Sunday off or Saturday, Sunday and Monday off. This way we still cover a 5 day work week. Giving your employees 3 days off in row is the best way to keep a happy employee.

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red
12-02

4 days ,8 hours a day is enough. Life is too short to work ass off and only have 104 days off a year. Family time is important bc life on this earth is too short !!!!! They need to lower the cost of living , so people can feel human again and not slaves !!!!!!

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Ross Jonathan
12-02

I don’t know the more days off the better as long as your making enough to live and enjoy your life I think a four day work week would be good people are over worked in todays society but the Kay has to go up to offset the lowered days of work

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