Once we experimented with a four-day workweek it was initially for one month. As our CEO, Joel Gascoigne, wrote about in Might 2020 once we first began the experiment, “This 4-day workweek interval is about well-being, psychological well being, and inserting us as people and our households first.”
On the finish of Might, whereas we had been amassing the information on how the experiment went, we continued working a four-day workweek. In June, after we noticed that the outcomes had been general good for us, we shifted to a four-day workweek for the remainder of 2020. Our group was shocked by these outcomes, having anticipated naturally diminished productiveness with fewer workdays. On the time, our Chief of Workers, Carolyn Kopprasch, wrote:
“Because the intention was to offer short-term reduction from typical expectations to teammates throughout an particularly arduous and unprecedented time, we didn’t set objectives round productiveness or outcomes. In reality, we anticipated a tangible drop in productiveness resulting from lowered hours.
Nonetheless, resulting from elevated relaxation and reflection, lots of you’ve shared that you just felt your weekly productiveness was in reality not all that completely different, and that your high quality of labor was greater whereas experiencing improved general 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 just lately ran an inner survey to test in with the Buffer group on what number of days they’re working, in the event that they really feel happier and extra productive, and at last, if they can get the work required of them accomplished in 4 days.
Listed below are the outcomes:
91% of our group are happier and extra productive working 4 days every week
It is a nice piece of information 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 once we first began out experimenting with a four-day workweek and we’re thrilled that that is nonetheless the affect almost two years later.
Most of our group is just working 4 days every week
Some of the widespread questions we get is that if we’re actually solely working 4 days every week, and now we have now the information to confidently say — sure, most of our group are solely working 4 days every 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 individuals work 4 and a half days and use Fridays to make amends for duties. On Fridays we don’t schedule conferences and no communication by way of e-mail, Slack, or Threads is anticipated of our group. Some individuals do select to make use of it as an “overflow” day and that’s one thing we help as a company assuming this doesn’t flip into overworking.
84% of our group are in a position to get all of their work completed in 4 days every week
Lastly, we additionally wished to know if teammates really feel they’ll get all of their work completed in 4 days every week, and 84 p.c of our group both agree or strongly agree that they can get the work required of them accomplished in 4 days.
This has been an adjustment because it isn’t straightforward to out of the blue change the workweek, so every group and teammate have been experimenting over these final years to regulate their work, initiatives, deadlines, and expectations to be life like with a four-day workweek. There’s all the time room for enchancment however we’re blissful to see this quantity as excessive as it’s proper now.
We’ve communicated to our group 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 once we see responses in our survey about individuals who don’t really feel like they’ll get all of the work they should do completed in 5 days, it prompts us to query a number of key issues:
- Is the workload cheap for a 4-day work week?
- Are these situations fixed, or one-offs due to urgent deadlines or large initiatives?
- Is there suggestions we will present to the person or group 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 group), we’re open to inventive options and re-iterating a versatile schedule.
A four-day workweek, like distant working typically, 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 particularly: how linked we really feel as a group when you’ve fewer hours within the workweek to permit for informal conversations and team-building actions.
In 2020, once we launched the pilot, we did deliberately cut 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 group and people are recorded for anybody who can’t attend.
Our engagement scores have decreased from the start of 2021, which is one thing tied to many, many components together with group 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 obtainable.
We nonetheless wish to preserve a stability of productive work throughout our 32-hour workweek, but additionally have some purposeful occasions which can be a part of the bigger constructing block of group connectedness.
We’ll observe up with future blogs about issues we’ve completed prior to now and initiatives we’re making an attempt for 2022!
Many corporations 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 a variety of corporations had 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 group and gathering goal productiveness statistics (like traces of code written, buyer satisfaction numbers, and so forth.)
- We clarified and finessed how we strategy a four-day workweek with our buyer help group. (We alternate days off amongst our help workers in order that we nonetheless have 24/7 in our buyer help inbox.)
- On the finish of seven months of a four-day workweek, we felt sufficient momentum and constructive response to commit to 1 extra 12 months 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 almost 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 best stability of group engagement and occasions throughout the midst of a shorter workweek.
Even nearly two years in, we nonetheless have lots to study working 4 days every week. We’ll proceed sharing as we go, and we’d love to listen to from you! What questions do you’ve about working a four-day workweek? Send us a tweet!