- Studies have shown moving to a four-day work week can boost employee productivity and happiness.
- But making the transition from the standard Monday-to-Friday week can be challenging.
- ThredUp says trimming meetings and dedicating time for focused work helped its team make the switch.
A four-day work week can boost employee well-being while maintaining — and sometimes even increasing — productivity, some recent studies have shown.
But making the transition to a four-day work week can be tough.
Cutting back on meetings and carving out more time for focused work can help. At least that’s what worked for ThredUp.
The online clothing consignment company moved its nearly 300 salaried employees to a four-day work week in 2021, and a few key changes helped smooth that transition, according to a Wall Street Journal article published Monday.
The consignment company cut 20% of its meetings and set aside Tuesdays as “maker days” for doing focused work without interruption. ThredUp also encouraged employees to hop on the phone to talk things through if an issue being worked out over email wasn’t resolved after three rounds of back-and-forth, the Journal reported.
The changes have apparently proven beneficial: In an employee survey of ThredUp’s corporate salaried staff, 93% said the abbreviated week improved their productivity, ThredUp’s chief people and diversity officer, Natalie Breece, told Insider in March.
Meanwhile, turnover among those employees was down by 55% compared with 2019 — and more than half of the company’s new hires said the four-day work week tipped the scale in their decision to work there.
Beside curbing turnover and helping attract talent, companies on a four-day schedule have reported benefits like reduced employee stress and burnout and even increased revenue in some cases. Going to the office one fewer days a week can also help employees save time and money, and reduce emissions associated with their commutes — not to mention spend more time with their families and save on childcare.
Even implementing some of the changes individually, without fully transitioning to a new schedule, can produce benefits.
Earlier this year, Shopify canceled all employee meetings with more than three people and all meetings scheduled on Wednesdays, a move it says eliminated freed up more than 322,000 hours of time given back to employees to “get shit done.”