Work for less: The Unity Project in the UK vs. the 4 Day Week Global Campaign to Deliver 80% of the Company’s Normal Hours
Losey persuaded her team to work less hours for the same amount of money.
But after a “very difficult journey” to convince her board, and a rocky start, Losey said her team has hit its stride. She said she’s sure that everyone will stick to the routine after the trial is over.
Unity is one of 70 companies in the United Kingdom participating in the trial. In exchange for promising to deliver 100% of their usual work, more than 3,300 employees have worked 80% of their usual hours for six months starting in June.
The program is being run by the nonprofit organization 4 Day Week Global; Autonomy, a think tank; and the 4 Day Week UK Campaign, in partnership with researchers from Cambridge University, Oxford University and Boston College.
Ninety percent of the organizations continued with their work after the trial ended, according to organizers. A survey found that 70% of workers had lower levels of exhaustion by the end of the six-month period.
In the office, employees of 5 Squirrels can focus on projects without being interrupted by email.
How much do we actually eat and how do we manage to live in our own workplaces? Unity, a human resource consultant, explains why she and her team are happier than they used to
He said that they have all lost a lot of weight. The team has more time to prepare food. Lots of people are going to the gym a lot more.”
Four months into the trial, Losey said her clients are happy with their performance, while her team is much more inspired and creative. An internal study at the company found that productivity was up 35% and staff said they were feeling healthier and happier, compared to before the trial.
While her board is still skeptical about the impact on the business output, Unity’s clients are “desperate” for the experiment to pay off, she said — so they can convince their bosses to adopt the routine in their own workplaces.
Because we have made it that way, a workweek of five days and forty hours feels normal and necessary. We can – and should – adapt, especially when the best available research suggests a four-day workweek could be of mutual benefit to workers and companies. There are policy innovations that can boast the same.
It makes for happy and healthy employees, according to Schor. The demands of the Pandemic pushed many to simply burn out.
A New Game for Employees: Adaptation and Deep Work Time in Losey’s Multi-Agenda Office to a Client Emergency
“Americans are finding that two days is not enough for the weekend. She said they can’t get all of their chores done, taking their kids to activities, and preparing for the work week. It is not enough, all of that gets crammed into two days.
She described the first week as “Armageddon,” with too few colleagues available to respond to a client emergency. “I just sat down on the kitchen floor and cried,” she said.
The team has been adapting and introducing new habits that have changed the game. Now, internal meetings are capped to 15 minutes, and client meetings to 30 minutes. Emails to colleagues are not allowed to exceed more than a quarter of a day’s total emails.
Losey’s staff swears at a traffic light system to reduce distraction in the office. Colleagues have a light on their desk, and set it to green if they are happy to talk, amber if they are busy but available to speak, and red if they do not want to be interrupted.
In order to get his staff to ignore emails, calls and instant messages and focus on their projects, he has instituted deep work time, where for two hours every morning and two hours every afternoon.
His team has started taking the office phones out. He said that clients were initially bothered, but have since responded with more emails.
The Rise and Fall of Children’s Poverty: A Climate Outlook from DealBook to Silicon Valley to Beyond the Glimpse
Wall Street and venture capital firms are fond of green tech. Bill Gates explained in his year end letter that climate related R. & D. has grown since the Paris accords. Private capital investment in the sector is on the upswing too, with $70 billion spent over the past two years. New technologies are being developed to address climate issues. The DealBook Summit in November was where Larry Fink, C.E.O. of BlackRock, predicted that venture funding would flow to start-ups that tackle the planet’s biggest problems. I believe we will see a change in where the money goes. It isn’t going to go to stuff that gave us good utility to get food quicker or find a taxi sooner.
It is likely that your job will not be taken by a bot, and could make it easier. Fears that technology will replace human workers are as old as technology, and they were raised once again in November when a company called OpenAI released ChatGPT, an automated writing program. But AI experts have long insisted that such technologies have limitations that prevent them from fully replacing humans. What the bots can do well is make grunt work easier. Shortly after the release, there was a video of a doctor in Palm Beach posting a letter to an insurance company.
Real progress is being made in tackling child poverty. The number of children in America living below the poverty line has plummeted by 59 percent since 1993. Child poverty has fallen in every state, and it has fallen even more among children who are white, Black, Hispanic, and Asian, living with one parent or two, and native or immigrant households, as reported by The Times in September. Changes to welfare laws make it easier for households that are struggling to make ends meet to apply for assistance.
An Empirical Comment on Moderna’s Life in the Age of Computers: The Case for Robotic Cancer Vaccines, and How My Generation Got Left Behind
We’re getting closer to cancer vaccines. Researchers have long thought that it was possible to immunize individuals at high risk of cancer, or even cure cancer in those who were already showing signs of it. Until recently, they had made little progress, but now promising results from preliminary studies are giving some doctors new hope. The vaccine for skin cancer did well in the mid-stage trials, said Moderna. There are dozens of vaccines that Moderna is working on to treat different types of cancer.
A journalist from New York and author of a book called “OK Boomer, Let’s Talk: How My Generation Got Left Behind.” She can follow her on the social networking site. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely her own. View more opinion on CNN.
American workers are remarkably productive, but while they have spent the last 50 years steadily producing more and more, real wages have not risen at the same rate. We are, in other words, doing more for less. And this is all despite the promises of technology – to free us from drudgery so that we might spend more of our time on creative pursuits, or with family, or doing what brings us joy.
Instead, it seems, technological innovations have just made us more tethered to machines and devices (while machines also threaten to take over our creative works). Why are we doing this on our own?
Work at Work: How Do Americans Make the Most of Their Extraordinary Hours? Evidence from the United Kingdom in a Three-Year-Old Work Work-Life Trial
If the proposed Maryland bill passes, it would arm researchers and policymakers with even more information about shorter workweeks, and hopefully allow lawmakers and employers to begin to craft better policies that keep the US economically competitive while also shifting cultural norms toward a healthier relationship to work, with Americans having the necessary time to rest, rejuvenate and have lives outside of their jobs.
But that fear may very well be misplaced. I am a sample size of one, and as a freelancer my hours are all over the place, but I will often at least try to schedule out my week so I am working four full days rather than five (or sometimes seven) partial ones. I devote less time to social media or non-work tasks as a result of creating boundaries around my working hours so that I can enjoy Friday when there is no work.
Three years ago, we were three years into the epidemic and it had changed our work and life-life. We are living in an era where out-of-work demands, parenting and other forms of caregiving are more extreme than ever. And we are living in a country that, unlike other nations, provides meager support as its people strive to balance it all: a slim majority of Americans and a strong majority of workers still get health insurance from our employers, there is no universal childcare on offer and we have no guaranteed paid parental leave – let alone enough sick days or vacation that we are empowered to take, even when offered them.
For six months starting in June last year, about 2,900 workers across 61 companies in the United Kingdom worked 80% of their usual hours — for the same pay — in exchange for promising to deliver 100% of their usual work. That is the biggest number of companies to ever take part in such a trial, according to organizers 4 Day Week Global (4DWG), a nonprofit organization.
The time male workers spent looking after their children rose by 27%, according to time diaries they kept during the trial. By comparison, female participants reported an increase of 13% in childcare.
Charlotte Lockhart is the founder and managing director of 4DWG and she told CNN that it is wonderful to see that we can shift the dial.
Among all workers, 60% said they were better able to combine their jobs with caring responsibilities, while 62% said it was easier to have a social life.
While both men and women benefited from the new schedule, “women’s experience is generally better,” Dr Dale Whelehan, chief executive of 4DWG, said in a press release.
Last year, managers and employees in the trial described to CNN how the extra day off had changed their lives for the better, giving them more time to run errands, take up hobbies, and simply recharge.
How well did 4DWG manage to find a five-day employee working day in the UK? A second study of employees at 33 companies in the U.S. and Ireland
An international trial last year involving 905 workers at 33 companies, with the majority of them being from the United States and Ireland, has led to the UK study.
That experiment was even more successful: none of the 27 companies that responded to 4DWG’s survey said they were leaning towards or planning on returning to their former five-day routine.