Could a four-day work week yield better results? Really? 

February 23 – A few years ago, the largest study in the world had 61 companies in the United Kingdom sign up to go to a four-day work week, looking to see if that could yield better results in the workplace. 

The 50-page study was done by a group called Autonomy. 

More than 89% of the companies that participated in the study are sticking with it a year later. 

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “What they’re citing is much lower staff turnover, much higher job satisfaction. They’re actually citing health benefits for these workers. They’re saying that they’ve shown no decrease in overall productivity. Now obviously this could not work for all employers, but nonetheless interesting that they’ve rolled this out and the fact that they’re citing the benefits of it might other companies around the world start taking a look at this? Especially when we know about this tight labor market that everyone seems to be in around the world.”

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM asked, “What am I supposed to do here? I mean, I’m not going to throw away a Friday. I’ve got a Friday show here and I can’t be out on a Monday.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM said, “I’m skeptical. I think we need much more than this. Honestly, I think there’s a push for this that comes from an agenda that I don’t believe necessarily that these results are as accurate as this is claiming to be.” 

Ryan added, “I also saw a study that said there’s a company that’s paying people to leave the office at three o’clock with three friends and we’ll go buy some drinks and do some social our stuff here or some appetizers or something like that, because they want people to socialize a little bit more. I mean, we’re rapidly getting away from being social beings because of social media.”

The 333 Project is a private company in California and the CEO says if a group of three workers can get together and go socialize after 3 p.m., the CEO will reimburse each employee up to $30 per person. 

Barkdoll said, “The thinking is everyone’s losing this ability to mingle and socialize. The CEO is seeing the benefits of people getting together, talking, learning about who you’re working alongside, what’s their life about, what’s your life about? I wonder if some of that might be playing into this study.”

Boston College is also involved in the results of the UK study. 

Barkdoll said, “They are finding that these workers are using that extra day off to engage in things that they would otherwise not be able to do when they were working, including socializing, maybe doing things in a club or some kind of a fraternal organization and might that be yielding some benefits in general? No doubt this is controversial and no doubt, maybe the sponsors of the study have an agenda. Nonetheless, an interesting thing is happening in our world.”

Jansen said, “I don’t believe that for a second. You give Generation Z an extra day, that’s more time to get on and play more video games and do those other things that I don’t need to be social with other people. I don’t believe for a second that’s what they’re doing with their extra day. I don’t buy it. If you have to pay people to go socialize, they’re not using that extra day to go socialize.” 

Ryan added, “If you’re giving the 30 bucks out per person, you know at some point somebody’s going to do something stupid, wrap their car around something and does that mean that the employer is on the hook? Well, you told us to go out and socialize. We had a couple of beverages. You were going to pay for it. So you’re uniquely involved in something bad happening after we had some beverages. You smell that one a mile away.”

Barkdoll said, “I thought about that too, Pat, and now again, on the West Coast, probably for 30 bucks, you’re going to get two drinks, but I had the same thought are there some liability issues here on the part of the company if somebody gets out of hand and something bad happens?”

Ryan insisted, “That’s a hard no.”