Podcast: The power of the 4-day work week

Pilot program involving 41 organizations sees 100% success rate

Podcast: The power of the 4-day work week

In an ever-evolving world of work, the four-day week is gaining momentum as organisations seek innovative ways to attract and retain talent, enhance employee wellbeing, and boost productivity.

Joe O’Connor, director of the Work Time Reduction Centre of Excellence, began his journey into the world of shorter weeks back in 2018.

“I had been following some of the emerging trials that were taking place in Denmark, Iceland, and New Zealand as far back as that,” said O’Connor.

His fascination was piqued when those trials uncovered that those employees working fewer hours actually maintained their productivity.

In a recent HRD talk podcast, O’Connor breaks down the results of the first-ever Canadian four-day work week pilot and discusses the potential it holds for shaping the future of work.

To find out more, listen to the full podcast here.

“The pandemic turbocharged the shorter work week movement,” said O’Connor. Companies who were faced with the worst talent shortage in history, and shifting employee priorities, turned to this model to retain a competitive edge.

“Many companies who have previously offered different types of flexibility like remote or hybrid found that almost overnight, their competitive advantage had been swallowed up,” said O’Connor.

Better wellbeing with 4-day work week

The Canadian four-day work week pilot involved 41 organisations. All 41 of those businesses chose to continue the trial beyond the initial 6 months. O’Connor described this as a “remarkable achievement,” highlighting “a 100% success rate,” and noting that these companies also experienced a year-on-year increase in revenue, demonstrating that reduced work hours can lead to improved profitability.

One surprising outcome of the pilot was the significant improvement in employee wellbeing.

“We saw some very statistically significant improvements across a whole range of employee wellbeing indications,” said O’Connor.

Participants reported higher life and work satisfaction, reduced sleep deprivation, and a remarkable decrease in single-day absenteeism.

Moreover, companies found it easier to recruit qualified candidates, giving them a competitive edge. O’Connor noted, “they were reporting a significant increase when it came to qualifying candidates for open job postings.”

To find out more about the Canadian 4-day work week trial, listen to the full podcast here.

Recent articles & video

Key Media’s Global Best in HR winners announced

Pay rises expected to lag behind rising costs of living: survey

New coalition government charts pro-employer course with policy reforms

Office of the Privacy Commissioner announces draft biometrics privacy code

Most Read Articles

Menopause in the workplace: Breaking the silence, building support

Keep Fair Pay Agreements petition garners support from nearly 13,000

Employer discovers manager was fired for misconduct from old job and fires him too