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Four-Day Workweek Experiment Finds Work Gets Done in Less Time

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commuters at the Liverpool Street rail station in London

Workers who followed a four-day work schedule for 12 months reduced working times to about 33 hours a week.

Credit: Jose Sarmento Matos / Bloomberg

Findings from one of the largest experiments with a four-day workweek offers new ballast for people hoping to adopt the same schedule: The longer people worked in new, more efficient ways, the shorter their workweeks became.

The results come from a series of four-day-workweek trials conducted in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Ireland over the past 18 months. Dozens of companies tested the four-day concept. Workers were given a paid day off a week but the same workload to see whether they could get as much done working more effectively. 

After six months, workers said they had less burnout, improved health, and more job satisfaction, and had cut their average work time by about four hours to 34 hours a week.

Up to now, most studies of four-day weeks examined the short-term effects. The new findings look across multiple companies over a longer, 12-month period. They suggest that businesses and employees both benefit in the long run as workers get accustomed to shorter weeks, companies and researchers say.

From The Wall Street Journal
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