The 4-Day Work Week Experiment

In an evolving environment like TrackVia’s, new ideas, suggestions, and feedback are constantly flowing throughout the company. Not only are we attentive and proactive to our customer’s wants & needs, but our internal employees’ wants & needs as well.  This is why TrackVia recently introduced the idea of a 4-day workweek. While this program is deemed a summer “experiment,”70% of TrackVia employees have already begun to sign off for the weekend on Thursday afternoons. Furthermore, we’ve found that TrackVia is not alone in this policy implementation.  In recent years, more and more companies are testing a shorter-workweek model, and now over 150 organizations across the United States have adopted a 4-day work week. 

When I first learned we would have the option to work Monday through Thursday this summer, it got me thinking: How did a 5-day workweek even become a societal norm in the first place? What was the catalyst for such a policy? After a bit of research, I discovered the head of the American automobile manufacturer company, Henry Ford, was at the helm of the 5-day workweek adoption in 1926. 

“It is high time to rid ourselves of the notion that leisure for workmen is either ‘lost time’ or a class privilege.” – Henry Ford

Before this, Ford factory employees were working six days a week – YIKES! Henry believed this shift from a 6-day workweek to a 5-day workweek would open the doors to “greater prosperity.” Thus, in 1940, the 40-hour workweek was mandated nationally across the United States.

Fast-forward to today, where a growing number of businesses are beginning to re-evaluate this nearly century-old tradition. The appeal of a flexible work schedule is becoming more mainstream, particularly among the flexibility-loving generations like Millennials and Gen Z. This recent curiosity can be largely attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic when many organizations scrambled to transition to a remote work setting. This work-from-home model ultimately led to an increase in trust between employers and employees, in turn advancing the shift toward a more flexible work environment. Interestingly, the pandemic provided a lens for many to re-evaluate the benefits of an abbreviated workweek, including less stress during their workday as well as an overall improved quality of life. 

Calls for a 4-day workweek will only grow louder as evidence mounts for its many benefits. Not only are employees happier with a shorter workweek, but organizations that have transitioned to this model are discovering profitability and revenue are up while staff turnover has dropped.  Other benefits include organizations’ improved ability to attract and retain talent, an increase in overall employee satisfaction and productivity, and lower employee sickness levels. Of course, with implementing a new way of working comes resistance and challenges. For example, for organizations that require customer service beyond normal operating hours, a shortage of availability could be detrimental; However, what is apparent is that any shift towards a shorter work week will require thorough understanding and planning.

I am so grateful TrackVia has given their employees the opportunity to dip their toes in these new and exciting waters this summer. I know for me personally, it has been a resounding success. While I still log on most Friday mornings to wrap up any outstanding items from that week, now I have extra time in the afternoons to take care of personal appointments, grocery shop whilst avoiding the evening & weekend crowds, and catch up on my fitness goals. In return, I am refreshed and ready to tackle the challenges of my work responsibilities during the remaining four days. I will definitely be watching to see how this experiment plays out at TrackVia and other companies that are looking to be a part of this continuing revolution in workplace flexibility.

 

If you’d like to experience this 4-day work week experience and are interested in employment with TrackVia, check out our Career’s Page