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Less is more

Better engagement. Better attraction. Better revenue, too. The four-day workweek is getting harder and harder to ignore

ONE OF THE closely watched four-day work week pilots involving companies in Ireland and America, being run by the 4 Day Week Global organization, has reported its first set of results, and they are being hailed as “a huge success.”


The organization released its findings last week and found that virtually all companies that participated are planning on continuing with a shortened workweek, and that company satisfaction with the plan scored a nine out of 10 on the satisfaction scale.


“The trials have been a resounding success on virtually every dimension,” the report reads. “Companies are extremely pleased with their performance, productivity and overall experience.”


Perhaps most stunning is that the pilot appears to have required very few tradeoffs for the participating companies. Revenues rose by more than eight per cent, on average, over the course of the six-month pilot, and were up more than 37 per cent compared to the previous year. Companies attracted 12 per cent more new employees, and absenteeism dropped modestly.


“The four-day week has been transformative for our business and our people,” said Jon Leland, chief strategy officer at Kickstarter. “Staff are more focused, more engaged and more dedicated, helping us hit our goals better than before.”


“I’m finding that I’m saying ‘yes, we can’ as opposed to ‘no sorry, we can’t,’” said one bank manager. Asked to describe her new schedule, she said “phenomenal.”


The four-day workweek is getting harder and harder to ignore, with previous results consistently showing more or less the same outcomes as this one. 4 Day Week Global has been conducted a range of similar pilot programs around the world. One of the most anticipated studies is one that just wrapped up in the UK, comprising twice as many companies. They’ve just moved into the study phase on that one, and results should be available in two months or so. Kieran Delamont


Fast fit, poor fit

In a tight labour market, companies have been recruiting quickly. But hiring under the gun can casue more problems than solutions

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IN THE FLURRY to hire people amidst labour shortages and fears of the Great Resignation, HR departments took shortcuts ― and are now owning up to their mistakes.


Those are the findings, anyways, of a new study from talent assessment platform provider Thomas International, which found that nearly two-thirds of new hires aren’t working out, and that three quarters of hiring managers think it’s because they made compromises to the hiring process. HR feeling pressure to hire quickly, not effectively, was the most cited issue.


“This urgency is understandable. Vacancies can simultaneously impact a business’ ability to deliver for its clients and customers, while also damaging employee wellbeing and job satisfaction, as existing team members pick up the slack,” the report found. “But the imperative to hire quickly creates some uncomfortable tension. In the race to fill gaps, businesses are setting themselves up for failure.”


Which isn’t to put blame solely on HR professionals — that’s not the conclusion the report draws, but rather that standard hiring processes (notoriously disliked by jobseekers) are in need of a re-think.


“Two thirds of businesses want to change the way they recruit,” the report says. “Time is ticking for businesses to get ahead of the talent culture curve, to reap the benefits of progressive recruitment.”


“Since most jobs are changing faster than ever, logically, if you are hiring for today, you will surely have it wrong tomorrow unless you hire someone who can grow,” noted Steve Cadigan, chief HR officer at LinkedIn. He argues that yes, recruitment needs a re-think — but no more so than it did five, ten or fifteen years ago.


“I work with thousands of firms across the globe and do not know many that even think about the quality of hires or measure performance. So, for a conclusion to be drawn here is highly subjective — albeit, my gut agrees.” Kieran Delamont

Terry Talks: Sleep is the secret sauce!

This time of year, festivities are plenty and most are likely to find themselves participating in numerous social engagements, last-minute shopping trips and family dinners. There are many good reasons to get quality sleep year-round, but during the holidays making the effort to properly manage your sleep will go a long way to staying centered, mindful, positive and productive. 



Mondays are the new Fridays

Offices have historically been pretty empty on Fridays. Now it appears Mondays are following suit

IF YOU’RE A hybrid worker reading this newsletter when it comes out on Monday afternoon, where are you right now — the office or working from home?


If a new bit of data from workplace analytics firm Density is anything to go on, the smart money’s on home, as Mondays have (maybe unsurprisingly) become one of the most popular work-from-home days.


“Offices have historically been pretty empty on Fridays,” they write. “Now, it appears Mondays are following suit.”


Pre-pandemic, their data showed that offices were running a utilization rate of around 40 per cent on Mondays; now, that’s down to 16 per cent. “In other words, Mondays are behaving a lot like Fridays.” Other studies have found similar results.


In some ways this is obvious, but there are other subtle shifts at play here. “Employees are choosing to start and finish their work weeks with work that can be done from home — likely individual, focused work — and saving collaboration for the midweek,” Nellie Hayat, workplace innovation lead at Density, told WorkLife.


While some offices are responding to this trend by closing offices on Mondays and Fridays, others are fine with the ebb and flow. In fact, some workers realize that they enjoy being counter to the trend lines. In August, the Wall Street Journal spoke to workers who were doing just that — going into the office on Fridays because it was quiet. “There’s no pings from emails or speakerphone conversations,” said one director of communications. “To me, it’s heaven.” Kieran Delamont

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Its official: The office is half dead

The glass might be half full for bosses pushing workers back to the office, but the office is still half empty and thats unlikely to change

WHILE MONDAY WORK stats give us some insight into how the office is being used these days, a higher-level overview of attendance rates is leading some to another conclusion: that the return-to-office versus remote versus hybrid tug-of-war has found its equilibrium.


“The office,” writes Curbed’s Clio Chang, “is half-dead.” A study of New York City office attendance rates found that a plateau had been reached, where around 50 per cent of workers are in the office on any given day, suggesting that to be about what the commercial real estate industry and office managers can rely on as a new baseline.


Even the “famously anti-remote work” Goldman Sachs office is only about 65 per cent full.


One report from the London School of Economics found that finance workers were, essentially, ignoring mandates to return. The sky hasn’t fallen, so it seems unlikely that anything short of an ultimatum will get them to go back.


Rather than eulogize it, some see opportunity. The upside to that is that it gives the office room to evolve and become a bit less drab. Writer Suzanne Zuckerman found that workplace fashion, in particular, is embracing that fluidity by getting creative with what kind of clothing falls under the umbrella of work clothes — embracing sneakers, work sweatpants, cardigans and even crop-tops — since, as she noted, one of the biggest differences is that “it’s not cool to be overdressed at work.”


“The things [workers] are buying have definitely shifted from 2019,” said Sarah LaFleur, founder of office wear brand M.M. LaFleur. “We were ready to leave behind a lot of things from the pandemic. But comfort isn’t one of them.”


So sure, the office might be half-empty from now on. But don’t despair — that doesn’t mean the other half won’t try to make up for it. Kieran Delamont


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