15 Apr 2024

Unlocking Productivity & Happiness: Why We Love Our 4-Day Workweek

We aren't returning to the 5-day work week! Joan Workplace is celebrating a major milestone: the first anniversary of our successful implementation of the four-day workweek (4DWW).

By prioritizing thoughtful planning and employee well-being, Joan Workplace has seen incredible results. We're talking about increased productivity, happier teams, and a much better work-life balance for our amazing Joan employees.

Let’s see how it all happened and what we learned from it.

How the 4-day workweek experiment began

Back in April 2023, we launched a pilot program with a shortened workweek for our developers' team. This wasn't just about experimentation – it was about living what we preach.

As a company dedicated to innovative workplace solutions, we believe in actively testing new strategies.  "We're all about gathering feedback, sharing learnings, and ultimately, creating better tools for businesses around the world," says Luka Birsa, Joan's co-founder and CTO.

The developer trial was a resounding success. Encouraged by these results, we expanded the 4DWW to other departments in July 2023. Since then, we've been laser-focused on optimizing our operations to seamlessly integrate shorter work hours across the entire company.

How we made it work

We quickly found out that a successful 4DWW hinges on a well-crafted plan with clear KPIs for everyone. These KPIs act as a roadmap and ensure all efforts align with shared goals.

As Birsa highlights: "Managers are the champions when it comes to clearly communicating KPIs and translating them into actionable metrics. Work should transcend the limitations of a traditional schedule – it should be fueled by purpose and a drive to achieve specific goals."

In the initial phase, each department embarked on a streamlining mission. This meant optimizing their daily operations guided by the chosen KPIs. Empowering departments with the autonomy to determine their ideal workweek structure was crucial. After all, a one-size-fits-all approach wouldn't work for our diverse teams.

This tailored approach yielded fantastic results without compromising client service. We've been careful to meticulously restructure our workflows to ensure our clients experience zero disruption as a result of these changes and we’re happy to see that our NPS remains as strong as ever.

Challenges we had to address

Transitioning to a 4DWW wasn't a walk in the park. Accommodating the varied workflows and demands of our diverse teams presented an initial hurdle. While we aimed for a gradual company-wide rollout, some departments needed more time to streamline their processes for a shorter workweek.

Transparency was paramount. We actively monitored employee sentiment and ensured open communication to address any potential dissatisfaction. This commitment revealed that a one-size-fits-all approach wouldn't work. Some teams thrived with a more structured, shortened workweek, while others craved more flexibility. It made sense to allow departments to design their ideal workweek structure.

This focus on flexibility empowered our employees, maintained productivity, and ultimately fostered a thriving work environment.


Reaping the rewards of a 4-day workweek

The positive impact of our 4DWW has been nothing short of remarkable.  One of the most quantifiable benefits has been the surprising surge in productivity.  Our employees have reported a staggering 30% increase, exceeding even our most optimistic projections!

Employees themselves attribute this leap to a newfound sense of motivation fueled by the revamped work environment as well as the initial step of restructuring and streamlining their daily processes.

Beyond the productivity gains, Joan Workplace has witnessed a significant improvement in work-life balance.  Employees report an average 32% improvement in this crucial metric.  

While adapting to a new work schedule initially presented challenges and stress around meeting KPIs within a tighter timeframe, our teams have successfully acclimated. Stress levels have plummeted by an impressive 32% compared to pre-experiment levels in April 2023.

Perhaps the most telling sign of success is the stability and satisfaction of our workforce.  Absenteeism and turnover haven't budged. As Birsa affirms, "The introduction of shorter and more flexible work hours hasn't resulted in any negative trends. In fact, our innovative work practices are improving productivity and fostering long-term employment stability within Joan."

We’re embracing the 4-day workweek

The 4DWW has been a resounding success at Joan Workplace, and we wholeheartedly recommend other companies explore its potential.

The traditional work model simply doesn't align with the needs and aspirations of today's workforce, particularly Gen Z.  A fundamental shift is required, and the 4DWW offers a compelling solution.  By prioritizing free time, companies can not only attract and retain top talent but also foster a more sustainable and equitable work environment.

However, a one-size-fits-all approach won't work. Every organization is unique, with its own culture, goals, and workflows.  The key lies in customizing your 4DWW implementation to perfectly match your specific needs.

Here are some key considerations for a successful rollout:

  • Define clear goals. Identifying your priorities will guide your implementation strategy.
  • Optimize work processes. Refine your processes to ensure efficiency without compromising quality or service.
  • Embrace experimentation. Different teams might thrive under different 4DWW models. Test various approaches to find the perfect fit for your organization.
  • Empower your employees. Employees should understand business goals and focus on outcomes, not just hours spent working.
  • Cultivate a spirit of reciprocity. Foster an environment where colleagues trust, support, and collaborate to achieve shared goals.
Our experience at Joan Workplace is a testament to the power of the 4DWW.  We've seen significant improvements in productivity, employee satisfaction, and overall well-being.  We hope our journey inspires you to explore this transformative approach and discover its benefits for your own organization.
If you are curious about how Joan can enhance your workplace and help you become more efficient, do not hesitate to contact us.