Will a 4-day work week become the normal schedule in East Texas?
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - New results from a pilot program in the UK showed many benefits to workers’ health and productivity with a four-day work week, as 92% of the businesses that tried the four-day week decided to keep the schedule long-term.
A four-day work week has been the norm for three years now at The Genesis Group software company in Tyler.
Genesis President Jim Nipp said the company made the change for its employees. “We wanted to give them more time to spend with their families; we wanted to give them more time to volunteer in the community; we wanted to give them more time to be creative and just do things that they wanted to do on their own.”
Nipp said employees now work 32-hour weeks. “We cut 20% of the work week away and we were producing up to 20% more output from those teams, so we consider it a great success.”
So, how is the same work done in less time? Nipp said the decision was not made overnight; it was a three year planning process. One adjustment is removing set designated meeting times.
“We started stacking those without time constraints. We said you have meeting A, and when it’s over you have meeting B, and when it’s over you have meeting C, and we found that we shaved an hour out of three hours’ worth of meetings because the meetings were for a purpose,” Nipp said.
The UK study showed employees reported higher job satisfaction, lower rates of burnout and less work related stress, which is something Genesis sees everyday.
“Our company is more productive, we’re certainly more profitable, and we’re a healthier company. People are happier, they’re friendlier, they’re more involved than they’ve ever been before,” Nipp said.
Henry Bell, president of Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce, said it would take a lot of planning if a company wanted to switch.
“The problem with going off from a five-day to a four-day is you have to adjust everything that’s around the employment base as to how that would effect it,” Bell said. He said he does not know if this will be the new norm yet in East Texas.
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