The Four-Day Work Week
In August of last year, Lowe’s (LOW) began offering its employees more flexibility by allowing them to work four 10-hour days a week, instead of the traditional five 8-hour days. This decision was made after employees complained about the company’s “chaotic” scheduling system.
Now, Lowe’s associates have the option of working only weekdays, adding a three-day weekend, or breaking up their work week with a day off. The change allows workers to net the same amount of hours, as well as some extra freedom.
Employees’ responses to this increased flexibility has been overwhelmingly positive. In fact, the company vaunted its highest staffing levels seen in three years on its most recent earnings call.
The 100-80-100 Model
While not yet common, the four-day work week is gaining popularity as more and more businesses explore it as an option. Many companies that have experimented with the four-day work week believe that it can actually increase employee productivity and efficiency.
Another similar approach, tested by 33 businesses over a six-month period last year, is the 100-80-100 model. By this principle, employees are paid 100% of their usual pay for working 80% of the time, so long as they complete 100% of their tasks.
This, too, was deemed a success. 97% of the employees who participated wished to continue with the new schedule.
Happy Employees, Happy Business
The four-day work week hasn’t worked for everyone. Under the traditional five-day work week, the occasional day off could be taken more easily, while at least one Lowe’s employee found the new system left less wiggle room. Fortunately, the flexibility goes both ways — the worker was able to revert to the five-day work week just as easily.
The four-day work week has been studied extensively in recent years, with a notable experiment conducted from June to December 2022 involving almost 3,000 workers at 61 companies. The results of this study showed that companies reported an increase in productivity, team culture, and morale, while employees reported improvements in their health, finances, and relationships.
In other words, this transition can positively serve workers and businesses alike. There is no guarantee which companies, if any, will ultimately adopt this new approach. But with such strong benefits, Lowe’s could very well be a microcosm of a workplace trend headed your way.
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