Does a 4-Day Work Week Increase Productivity?
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The Doctors discuss a study conducted in New Zealand which showed overwhelmingly positive results in favor of a four-day work week. The company conducted an eight-week experiment in which they eliminated one workday each week but all of their 240 employees were still paid for the full five-day work week. They found staff engagement increased by 24%, the staff was more creative, took fewer sick days, were more punctual, spent less time in meetings, and less time on social media. The staff also finished work early less often.
The company, Perpetual Guardian, manages trusts and wills. The Doctors discuss how this wouldn't work in all industries like their own, but for some companies where it's more about getting the work done rather than when it's done, it makes sense! Dermatologist Dr. Sonia Batra explains the CEO of this company was inspired by a British anecdote that the average worker is only productive for two and a half hours each day.
If a shorter work week means people are more engaged and productive, The Doctors are all for it! It sounds as if it's great for company morale and could be a good selling point if the company was hiring. "I like it when companies are bold and strive to be different," exclaims ER physician Dr. Travis Stork.
While it seems a four-day work week could increase productivity, The Doctors share another thing that might do the same: being in a bad mood! A new study from the University of Waterloo, which examined 95 participants, claims if you are an extrovert, being in a bad mood may be better for your productivity. The bad mood allows extroverts to better focus, better manage time and better prioritize their work. Introverts, however, were less productive when they were in a bad mood.
The Doctors think it makes sense since extroverts may be less likely to social and waste time if they're feeling down! They also discuss how as doctors, they have learned to compartmentalize their feelings, because they can't let a bad mood affect their interactions with patients.
It's helpful to know how your mood affects your productivity and if you have certain stressors, learning to deal with them will help you perform better in the workplace.