Four-day work week trend gaining popularity as companies report strong productivity levels

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Over two dozen companies that have tested out a four-day work week have no plans of going back, according to a recent report. 

Findings from the recent study "Assessing global trials of reduced work time with no reduction In pay" bolstered the notion that the 32-hour work week trend is gaining momentum. The study collected data from a range of businesses and organizations in different sectors. Participants lived in the U.S., Ireland, the U.K., New Zealand, and Canada.

Researchers discovered that the 33 companies that tested out the shortened schedule without a reduction in pay, were "extremely pleased with their performance, productivity and overall experience."  

REMOTE WORK BOOSTS PRODUCTIVITY AND HELPS FIGHT INFLATION DESPITE BUSINESS LEADERS DOUBTS

Members work on laptop computers in a common area at the WeWork Cos Inc. 85 Broad Street offices in the Manhattan borough of New York, May 22, 2019.  (David ‘Dee’ Delgado/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Twenty-seven companies that filled out a final survey have already committed to, or plan to continue with, the four-day work week, according to the report, which was compiled by independent academic researchers at Boston College, University College Dublin and Cambridge University. 

CHICK-FIL-A'S FOUR-DAY WEEKEND EXPERIMENT

Over the course of the trial, revenue for the participating companies had risen while sick days and absenteeism fell, the research showed. At the same time, companies were hiring and resignations fell slightly which was "a striking finding during the ‘Great Resignation,’" according to the researchers. 

NYC lawyer, Matthew Baione, is seen working in his office in Manhattan on Aug. 29, 2019. (Kristell Bernaud/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

When employees were asked about the experience, they reported that it was very successful. The average overall experience of the trial was rated 9.1 out of ten. 

Employees said their work performance increased and almost all of them, 97%, said they wanted to continue to the trial, according to the report. 

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In the study, researchers noted there is "abundant evidence that long working hours are bad for human health" and even cited a recent report from the World Health Organization and the International Labour Organization finding associations with higher rates of heart disease and stroke. 

Daniel Alpert, managing partner of Westwood Capital, is seen in his office on Fifth Avenue in New York, Oct. 15, 2020. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

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Conversely, researchers say that there is "a growing body of evidence finds that work time reduction has positive health impacts on individuals, and is economically viable for employers even when not accompanied by reductions in pay."

Recently, companies in the U.S. such as Chick-fil-A have even tested out their own work schedule. A location in Miami, Fla. reportedly implemented a new schedule that included a four-day weekend for workers. 

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Similarly, San Francisco-based HR tech startup Emtrain implemented a four-day work week in July of 2021. Ever since, it's been performing better than ever, Emtrain President Odessa Jenkins told FOX Business earlier this year.

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