Weekend Leadership Reading: 2/21/20

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Weekends are time when things slow down a little. Your weekend shouldn’t be two more regular workdays. That’s a sure road to burnout. Take time to refresh yourself. Take time for something different. Take time for some of that reading you can’t find time for during the week.

Here are choice articles on hot leadership topics culled from the business schools, the business press and major consulting firms. This week there are articles about the four-day workweek.

From Cale Guthrie Weissman: The inside story of the four-day workweek

“First it was a failure, then it was a success. Then it was a failure again. Now it’s, er, who knows? That’s a brief synopsis of the changing story arc in coverage about the four-day workweek. It’s undoubtedly the Himalayan Yeti of routinized labor schedules.”

From Richard Eisenberg: The 4-Day Workweek: Has Its Time Come?

“The drumbeat for a four-day workweek is getting louder. Microsoft Japan tried it and says productivity rose by 40% and electricity costs fell by 23%. Finland’s new prime minister, Sanna Marin, says her country might want to experiment with a four-day workweek. And in his new book, The 4 Day Week, Andrew Barnes (founder of the New Zealand financial services firm Perpetual Guardian) writes about how letting his employees work this way made them happier and the company more profitable.”

From Andrew Barnes: You Can Get More Done in a 4-Day Workweek. Really.

“The trial so soundly proved the viability of the four-day week that starting in November 2018, we implemented a four-day week permanently on an opt-in basis. Our opt-in model offers employees the option to work a four-day week and invests our company with the power to withdraw the ‘gifted’ weekly day off if the employee does not hold up their side of the bargain. Since then, we have since seen company revenue and profitability increase by 6% and 12.5% respectively.”

Book Suggestion: The 4 Day Week: How the flexible work revolution can increase productivity, profitability and wellbeing, and help create a sustainable future by Andrew Barnes

From Eoin O’Carroll: Work four days a week? Why idea of shorter hours gains support

“For many people a ‘full-time job’ provides much needed income, even a sense of purpose. But could those needs be supplied without such long work hours? It’s a long-standing question that we revisit in illustrated form.”

From Karen Gilchrist: Microsoft Japan’s 4-day workweek experiment sees productivity jump 40%

“Microsoft Japan tested a four-day workweek and has found the experiment a huge boon to employee productivity. The tech giant recorded an almost 40% jump in productivity levels after cutting its work hours as part of a wider project to promote healthier work-life balance.”

From Aimi Maunders: ‘We are ready to try a four-day working week’

“Our company mission is to promote a healthier, happier society and that starts with our team. We are continually working to make our office environment a positive place to work. Last year we introduced a Memiah Wellness Initiative which includes weekly meditation sessions, group membership to our local trampoline park and £500 per year per team member to spend on wellness appointments through our directories for therapies such as counselling, nutritional therapy or reflexology. We now want to find out if switching to a 4-day, 32-hour work week without reducing pay can improve their health and happiness further, whilst maintaining or improving productivity.”

From Christine Ro: The double-edged sword of the shorter workweek

“With less work to go around, will people twiddle their thumbs or find better things to do with their time?”

From Ron Kitchens: Four Day Workweeks Won’t Lead to Increased Productivity

“While more time at home (and more productive hours when clocked in) sounds great to employers and employees, I can tell you firsthand as the CEO of a highly successful company that has won awards for its workplace environment that a four-day workweek is not required to motivate employees. In fact, employee motivation has nothing to do with how many days a person works in a week.”

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