olt, a San Francisco-based financial technology company, announced recently that it would be switching to a four-day workweek.
“It’s all about keeping standards of execution high, while still putting the team’s health and well-being first,” Bolt CEO Ryan Breslow told FastCompany.com.
Meanwhile, TAC Security, a cybersecurity firm that’s also headquartered in San Francisco, revealed that it has been closing its Mumbai office Fridays for the past seven months to implement a four-day workweek.
“It’s all about keeping standards of execution high, while still putting the team’s health and well-being first,” TAC Security’s founder and CEO Trishneet Arora said in a press release.
That’s the problem with the four-day workweek—the marketing department doesn’t have enough time to come up with original quotes for the CEO.
The marketing team probably worked on the press release Thursday afternoon.
Marketing assistant: “The release is done, boss.”
Marketing director: “Did you get a good quote for the CEO?”
Assistant: “Yes, I did. Thank God it’s Thursday. And thank God for copy-and-paste.”
Both CEOs, Breslow and Arora, seem to believe that they can keep their “standards of execution high” while cutting the work week to four days. Is this really possible?
Well, apparently it is, especially if you ask people in Iceland, where trials of a four-day workweek have been “overwhelmingly successful,” according to BBC News. Just google “Iceland workers” and you will see lots of smiling workers. Their favourite question: “Is it Thursday yet?”
Actually, a four-day workweek does not necessarily mean a Monday-to-Thursday workweek. It depends on the type of work that’s being done. The “Closed on Fridays” sign may be appropriate in many workplaces, but probably not at the hospital.
At Bolt, workers who serve customers directly will have to arrange their schedules to ensure that there’s always someone to help customers. The company has suggested that employees use this out-of-office message: “I’m out of the office today because Bolt is experimenting with a four-day workweek. If this is an emergency and you need to reach me urgently, just look for me at the nearest beach!”
Actually, the out-of-office message that they want employees to share is this: “I’m out of the office today because we’re working consciously here at Bolt and are currently experimenting with a four-day workweek. I’ll be back in touch with you [Monday].”
Yes, they’re “working consciously” at Bolt. As many studies have shown, working consciously makes you a lot more productive than working unconsciously.
There’s an old saying that work expands to fill the time allotted to it. If you have five days to complete a project, you’ll probably take five days, but if you have four days, you’ll get it done sooner by “working consciously.” You’ll spend less time on unproductive tasks such as visiting your coworker’s cubicle to discuss the IPL (Indian Premier League), EPL (English Premier League) or BPL (Bangalore Pokémon League).
In Iceland, where the trials of a four-day workweek took place between 2015 and 2019, with more than 2,500 workers participating, productivity stayed the same or improved in a majority of workplaces, according to researchers. Instead of working 40 hours per week, the workers received the same pay for 35 or 36 hours, which they completed in four days, instead of five.
The benefits to the Icelandic workers included feeling less stressed and having more time for their families, hobbies and household chores. At TAC Security, the four-day workweek has allowed a lot of employees to sign up for “various courses and activities,” according to the press release.
If I were offered a four-day workweek, this is how I’d answer questions about the extra day off: Will you be taking any courses? Of course. At least three courses at Taj Palace restaurant.
What activities will you be participating in? Lots of activities: playing sports, watching sports, discussing sports.