My tech company has a four-day workweek
In August of last year I started a new job. Joining fast growing start-up Bolt was a great move for my career, and I was excited about their products and mission. It turned out to be a great move for my personal life too.
Bolt announced this week that they were making their four-day workweek experiment permanent. When I told people my company was trialling this, everybody could agree on the benefits of a four-day workweek — but people still had a lot of questions, comments, and concerns.
Do you get paid less? Nope, my pay has remained the same. Do you work longer hours? Not really — maybe at first, but it’s a learning process, and my workdays are pretty much standard now. Do you really get the day off? Yep. And I’ve done lots of great things with the extra time.
On my “extra day” I travelled to the Bruce Peninsula for the first time, and was able to take advantage of the beautiful hike on a quiet day. I also volunteered at a local arts festival to help put on an event for the DIY community in Toronto. One day I took myself out for a long lunch and read half a book. I went to an art gallery another day and saw an incredible exhibition. Some days, I just slept in a little later and pottered around my house.
If you were to ask anybody at Bolt, I think we’d all agree; a four-day workweek is still a regular workweek. We aren’t producing less, we aren’t changing the amount of work completed. The secret to a successful four-day is about prioritizing and optimizing workflows.
Bolt’s Executive Leadership Team were able to reduce their time spent in meetings by 90% by leaning in to asynchronous work, reducing or cutting unnecessary meetings, or moving to a bi-weekly or monthly schedule. This is a change that I felt even at my level. Meetings feel more focused so that we actually achieve more with the time we have.
Another benefit that I’ve found is that the extra thinking time on Fridays makes me more productive when I am working. Most people in tech will tell you, a lot of the time our jobs are about thinking. Sure, output and producing is important, but I find having the time and space to think about problems makes my output better overall. As a marketer, spending time going on walks might not make immediate sense — but there’s always something to be inspired by if you look for it.
The stats from our four-day workweek experiment speak for themselves. As reported in Fast Company, 94% of employees surveyed said they wanted the program to continue and 86% said they were more efficient with their time.
I’m excited to continue with the four-day workweek, and I can’t wait to see which company commits to it next.