Three-Day Work Week With Full-Time Hours? One Boss Says It Works
Recently, the Acadia Parish school board began looking into a four-day school week for students and teachers.
It's not a new concept - more than one district has looked into and adopted it in Louisiana - but it is the first system in Acadiana to really look into the issue. But, it's not just schools looking at shortening weeks.
According to the New York Times, a survey in Britain found that there was no loss of productivity in places that adopted a four-day work week.
Most of the companies participating in a four-day workweek pilot program in Britain said they had seen no loss of productivity during the experiment, and in some cases had seen a significant improvement, according to a survey of participants published on Wednesday.
Nearly halfway into the six-month trial, in which employees at 73 companies get a paid day off weekly, 35 of the 41 companies that responded to a survey said they were “likely” or “extremely likely” to consider continuing the four-day workweek beyond the end of the trial in late November. All but two of the 41 companies said productivity was either the same or had improved. Remarkably, six companies said productivity had significantly improved.
But one restaurant in Florida is going even further.
A Three-Day Work Week?
Justin Lindsey, owner-operator of a Chick-Fil-A in Miami, Florida, has offered employees a chance to work much longer days, but only for three days a week. He says that applications and retention are through the roof.
Speaking to Inc. Magazine, Lindsey says that the workers were very excited about the change, particularly because they are able to make money but also have more time.
"I have one employee that's about to graduate from [college], and she was sharing with me, 'I really don't know how I would have finished my degree in the traditional five-day workweek.'" he explained.
Some are bragging they're making more money than they've ever dreamed of making, just kind of doing side gigs in addition to the restaurant.... We have one who went to Scotland twice -- his family's in Scotland -- and he still has his PTO available.
Just being able to see that... as an employer, like: 'OK. I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. I'm being generous. That's my ultimate goal right now, just to be more generous.'
The results of the change, according to Lindsey, include:
About 40 of 160 total employees have opted into the three-day work week program, with the number increasing as non-participant employees ask their colleagues about their experiences;
Increased retention and fewer call-outs for those employees on the three-day schedule, compared to the non-program workers; and
More people are applying to work for Chick-fil-A, specifically because of the three-day program. "We posted a job on Indeed, and we have 429 applications in a week.... It was like two lines: 'Work three days a week, get full-time hours.' "
What Does That Work Shift Look Like?
The employees who opted in are divided into two groups. One group will work from Monday through Wednesday and the other works from Thursday to Saturday (Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sundays). In order to get to full-time status (which includes benefits), that means workers are having to work 13-14 hour shifts.
But, apparently, the workers love it. Some are picking up side gigs to make even more money, and plenty like having four days off to do other things that are important to them - like school and spending time with friends and family.
A 13- or 14-hour shift might sound brutal, but apparently, most of the workers at this restaurant love it.
What do you think? Where else could you see this plan working?