After we experimented with a four-day workweek it was initially for one month. As our CEO, Joel Gascoigne, wrote about in Might 2020 after we first began the experiment, “This 4-day workweek interval is about well-being, psychological well being, and putting us as people and our households first.”
On the finish of Might, whereas we have been amassing the information on how the experiment went, we continued working a four-day workweek. In June, after we noticed that the outcomes have been total good for us, we shifted to a four-day workweek for the remainder of 2020. Our crew was shocked by these outcomes, having anticipated naturally diminished productiveness with fewer workdays. On the time, our Chief of Workers, Carolyn Kopprasch, wrote:
“For the reason that intention was to provide momentary reduction from typical expectations to teammates throughout an particularly exhausting and unprecedented time, we didn’t set targets round productiveness or outcomes. In reality, we anticipated a tangible drop in productiveness as a result of lowered hours.
Nevertheless, as a result of elevated relaxation and reflection, a lot of you may have shared that you just felt your weekly productiveness was actually not all that completely different, and that your high quality of labor was greater whereas experiencing improved total wellbeing.”
In the long run, we shifted to a four-day workweek for the foreseeable future on the finish of 2020.
Now, we’re three months away from having operated by a four-day workweek for 2 years. We lately ran an inner survey to examine in with the Buffer crew on what number of days they’re working, in the event that they really feel happier and extra productive, and eventually, if they’re able to get the work required of them accomplished in 4 days.
Listed here are the outcomes:
91% of our crew are happier and extra productive working 4 days per week
It is a nice piece of knowledge for us — 91 p.c of our teammates both agree or strongly agree that they’re happier and extra productive now that they work a four-day workweek, as for the remaining 9 p.c, on the size all of them chosen “impartial.”
This was our hope after we first began out experimenting with a four-day workweek and we’re thrilled that that is nonetheless the affect practically two years later.
Most of our crew is barely working 4 days per week
One of the crucial frequent questions we get is that if we’re actually solely working 4 days per week, and now we have now the information to confidently say — sure, most of our crew are solely working 4 days per week, or they select to work 5 shorter days, which is an choice a number of mother and father felt higher suited their households.
In our most up-to-date survey, 73 p.c of Buffer teammates are solely working a four-day workweek (or 5 shorter days which is an choice). The remaining 27 p.c mentioned they’re working greater than 4 days, mostly folks work 4 and a half days and use Fridays to atone for duties. On Fridays we don’t schedule conferences and no communication by way of e-mail, Slack, or Threads is predicted of our crew. Some folks do select to make use of it as an “overflow” day and that’s one thing we assist as a corporation assuming this doesn’t flip into overworking.
84% of our crew are in a position to get all of their work performed in 4 days per week
Lastly, we additionally needed to know if teammates really feel they will get all of their work performed in 4 days per week, and 84 p.c of our crew both agree or strongly agree that they’re able to get the work required of them accomplished in 4 days.
This has been an adjustment because it isn’t straightforward to immediately change the workweek, so every crew and teammate have been experimenting over these final years to regulate their work, initiatives, deadlines, and expectations to be sensible with a four-day workweek. There’s at all times room for enchancment however we’re glad to see this quantity as excessive as it’s proper now.
We’ve communicated to our crew that we all know altering long-standing habits and expectations from a five-day workweek will take time. In spite of everything, we’ve labored our complete careers with a five-day workweek paradigm.
So after we see responses in our survey about individuals who don’t really feel like they will get all of the work they should do performed in 5 days, it prompts us to query a number of key issues:
- Is the workload affordable for a 4-day work week?
- Are these cases fixed, or one-offs due to urgent deadlines or huge initiatives?
- Is there suggestions we are able to present to the person or crew to assist streamline or work extra effectively?
We wish the four-day workweek to use to everybody equally, and since we apply this uniquely to completely different groups (like our advocacy crew), we’re open to artistic options and re-iterating a versatile schedule.
A four-day workweek, like distant working usually, requires trusting teammates to be sincere about their work calls for and workloads. It’s a dialogue between supervisor and teammate and one thing we encourage our firm to proceed to iterate on.
A query that comes up lots with the four-day workweek is that if there are any surprising drawbacks or challenges.
We’ve been wrestling with one specifically: how linked we really feel as a crew when you may have fewer hours within the workweek to permit for informal conversations and team-building actions.
In 2020, after we launched the pilot, we did deliberately scale back the variety of hangouts and informal occasions to depart room for productive work within the week. We nonetheless have one-to-two team-wide occasions every quarter resembling All Arms or City Halls with our Govt crew and people are recorded for anybody who can not attend.
Our engagement scores have decreased from the start of 2021, which is one thing tied to many, many elements together with crew turnover, product course, and exterior influences. One factor that has been highlighted in our surveys is the discount in team-building occasions resembling Zoom hangouts, visitor audio system, and in-person occasions resembling our retreat.
For 2022, we’re diving again into extra intentional team-building each asynchronously, synchronously, and the occasional in-person meetup the place out there.
We nonetheless need to keep a steadiness of productive work throughout our 32-hour workweek, but additionally have some purposeful occasions which are a part of the bigger constructing block of crew connectedness.
We’ll comply with up with future blogs about issues we’ve performed previously and initiatives we’re making an attempt for 2022!
Many firms at the moment are exploring a four-day workweek and emboldening their staff to be versatile and environment friendly of their workweeks. We’ve been requested by lots of firms have been to even start about experimenting with a four-day workweek—and listed here are our greatest sources and steps to kick off a dialogue or take a look at!
- We examined it on a small scale (one month), with a number of key survey inquiries to measure success.
- We then rolled it out to a 6-month pilot trial, frequently surveying our crew and gathering goal productiveness statistics (like strains of code written, buyer satisfaction numbers, and so on.)
- We clarified and finessed how we method a four-day workweek with our buyer assist crew. (We alternate days off amongst our assist workers in order that we nonetheless have 24/7 in our buyer assist inbox.)
- On the finish of seven months of a four-day workweek, we felt sufficient momentum and constructive response to commit to at least one extra yr of a four-day workweek, with added clarifications round the usage of the fifth day as “overflow” and efficiency expectations for this as a perk.
- After practically two years, we’ve felt extra assured than ever in our new programs, although we’ll proceed to query, survey, and take a look at out completely different habits to work effectively and nonetheless bond as an organization. We’re nonetheless engaged on the perfect steadiness of crew engagement and occasions throughout the midst of a shorter workweek.
Even nearly two years in, we nonetheless have lots to study working 4 days per week. We’ll proceed sharing as we go, and we’d love to listen to from you! What questions do you may have about working a four-day workweek? Ship us a tweet!