With the increasing levels of burnout in the workplace and the onset of the great resignation, many companies around the world are considering adopting a 4-day work week.
Fingerprint for Success is asking the question “is your workplace likely to thrive in a 4-day work week?” to help further understand the complexities, benefits, and challenges of adopting a 4-day work week.
Together (with your help!) we can achieve the following:
It will take only 15-25 minutes to answer the two surveys, and in return you’ll get:
Following Duval’s research in 2013 and 2018 asking the question can entrepreneurial success be predicted, Fingerprint for Success (F4S) has been committed to researching performance, wellbeing, and human development in the future of work.
With the increasing levels of burnout in the workplace and the onset of the great resignation, many companies around the world are considering adopting a four-day workweek. Fingerprint for Success is asking the question “is your company likely to thrive in a four-day workweek?” to help further understand the complexities, benefits, and challenges of adopting a four-day workweek.
While media reporting tends to uncritically celebrate the positive outcomes of a four day work week, and employees and unions frequently express the desire for increasing the adoption of a shorter workweek, academic research reveals a more complex and ambiguous picture of its implementation (Delaney, & Casey, C., 2022).
The research literature suggests that a four-day work week has the potential to yield positive economic, environmental, and social effects, however, it also cautions that these outcomes are not inevitable (Coote, 2013). Much depends on how these initiatives are implemented, both in policy and in practice. The largest difference in implementation is the definition of a four day work week itself, in America, it is common to have a Condensed Work Week (10hrs per day over four days), whereas in European countries the preference is a Reduced Work Week (32 hours over four days).
The attractiveness of creating good publicity and the prospect of solving key challenges such as attracting talent, retention, productivity, employee satisfaction and wellbeing can blindside workplaces into simplifying the process. Without a deeper understanding of the complexities of adopting a four day work week, the unforeseen challenges can potentially defeat the purpose of implementation. One of the most commonly cited challenges was whether the employees had any input into the decision or the process in which the four day work week was implemented, for those who did not prioritize the feedback of employees, a four day work week was often ineffective (De Spiegelaere and Piasna, 2017).
It is also important to recognise the rationale behind a four-day work week. Some companies and cultures may fall into the pitfall of increasing burnout rather than reducing it by not having adequate systems in place to ensure productivity and profit do not take priority over wellbeing. Shake Shack started a four-day workweek for managers in 2019 but suspended the experiment soon after, stating that it would instead focus on increasing wages and bonuses to attract workers, deeming it not to be the right fit for the culture (Deffenbaugh, 2021, Coote, 2013).
In other cases such as that of a large study in Iceland, the four-day work week was immensely successful. During a four-year pilot program involving 2,500 workers across a range of companies and professions, it was reported the workers felt less stressed and noticed productivity largely increased (Deffenbaugh, 2021). It’s not immediately clear why one case ended in failure and the other in success, as there are many unique factors at play.
Therein lies the gap in current literature, and the ability to look at the four-day work week from a different lens outside of solely productivity and wellbeing. Using the Inventory or Working Attitudes and Motivations (iWAM), it is possible to measure the attitudes, motivations, and cognitive biases of companies and leadership groups where there has been a success in adopting a four-day work week.
Through this research, the likelihood of whether a four-day work week is a right fit for an organization can be determined based on culture, adding a fresh perspective to the debate of whether a four-day work week will solidify its place in the future of work.
Fingerprint for Success (F4S) is research company and technology used by individuals and teams to understand and bring out the best in themselves and each other at work.
Launched in 2016, our platform is used by people in 195 countries and counting.
Previously, we have partnered with giants like Canva and Startup Genome on global studies that have led to world-first discoveries and the development of alternative treatments, coaching programs, and further research.
For this study, we are aiming to partner with communities that deeply care about understanding the complexities, benefits, and challenges of adopting a four-day work week.
To participate, you will need to share your email address so we can send you the research findings and give you access to your own results from the assessment.