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Is The 4-Day Week The Future Of Work? A Q&A With Joe O’Connor

Is The 4-Day Week The Future Of Work? A Q&A With Joe O'Connor

Can spending much less time on the clock really make your group extra productive?

Joe O’Connor thinks so. He’s the CEO of 4DayWeek.com, an organization aiming to shift our collective mindsets across the conventional 9 to five, Monday to Friday grind.

It sounds counterintuitive, for certain – and but many organizations are prepared to provide it a attempt.

Actually, Search Engine Journal is experimenting with a four-day workweek proper now.

Joe at present leads 4 Day Week World’s pilot program, and within the first six months of 2022, 150 firms and seven,000 of their staff participated in six-month coordinated trials of the four-day week.

Joe not too long ago joined SEJ Present host Loren Baker in a podcast episode on helping your marketing team succeed contained in the construction of a 4-day workweek.

We had the chance to attach with Joe after his podcast interview and ask a couple of extra questions on how he grew into this profession as a versatile work advocate and agent of organizational change.

Right here, he talks about management, productiveness, and the developments and abilities we’ll must future-proof our careers and corporations going ahead.

Rising Into The 4-Day Week Mindset

Miranda Miller: What path led you to change into the World Pilot Program Supervisor and now CEO of 4 Day Week World?

Joe O’Connor: “In my earlier position as campaigns director for Eire’s largest public service union Fórsa, I organized a global convention on the way forward for working time again in 2018 and based and launched the 4 Day Week Eire marketing campaign coalition in 2019.

I’ve been collaborating with 4 Day Week World’s pioneering founders, Andrew Barnes and Charlotte Lockhart since 2019 additionally.

Once I developed a four-day-week pilot program and analysis mission in Eire final yr, it aligned with their plans to develop a world pilot mission and a serious U.S. marketing campaign, so I got here on board full-time with the group in September 2021.

On the identical time, I moved from Eire to New York Metropolis with my associate and our two cocker spaniels, the place I’m additionally main a analysis mission on work time discount as a visiting fellow with Cornell College’s ILR College.”

Miranda Miller: Inform us a bit about what you do. How has this work mannequin modified the best way you get your individual work executed?

Joe O’Connor: “I’ve discovered lots from the form of first-hand publicity I’ve needed to a variety of very completely different firms who’ve adopted revolutionary new work practices, recognized course of enhancements, and embraced new applied sciences to make their companies environment friendly sufficient to ship 5 days’ price of output in 4.

This has not solely strengthened my capability to assist leaders to determine easy methods to make this work for his or her enterprise but in addition enabled me to implement these methods to make our group as lean and environment friendly as it will possibly presumably be.

This can be a steady work in progress – the four-day week and sensible working is an ongoing health, not a one-off resolution.”

Miranda Miller: At your management degree, how is your time cut up between organizational technique, individuals administration, and different actions?

Joe O’Connor: “Though we’re rising quickly, we’re nonetheless a comparatively small group with fairly a flat organizational construction, so I’m nonetheless very deeply concerned with executing our day-to-day operations and rolling out world pilot applications.

The unbelievable natural momentum behind the worldwide four-day week motion, notably previously six months or so, has meant that we have now needed to be extraordinarily nimble in responding to this fast-moving area.

In latest months, I’ve been capable of dedicate extra of my time to proactively charting our future path. We’re constructing capability in the direction of our goal of operating our 4 Day Week pilot program quarterly in each time zone and area by the second quarter of 2023.”

Productiveness, Management, And The 100-80-100™ Mannequin

Miranda Miller: Are you able to share the highest two influences shaping how you consider productiveness and management?

Joe O’Connor: “One of many issues that impressed me was my expertise with public sector staff in Eire, the place many working mother and father – predominantly girls – informed us en masse in a serious survey that they’d opted to work four-day or reduced-hour schedules after getting back from parental depart, for work-life stability and childcare causes.

Nonetheless, though they’d dropped to 80% of their wage, they nonetheless felt that their obligations had been the identical, their position expectations had been the identical, and their output was the identical.

This tells us two issues: One, we have now a major gender equality drawback within the office which a common four-day week may very well be revolutionary in addressing.

And two, relating to productiveness, Parkinson’s Regulation holds true – work duties will increase to fill the time obtainable for his or her completion.

Our founder Andrew Barnes has additionally impressed me on this regard. The landmark four-day week trial he spearheaded in his firm in 2018, Perpetual Guardian in New Zealand, was primarily motivated by productiveness.

By shifting the emphasis away from the variety of hours spent on the workplace, on the desk, or on the clock and onto the work being produced and outcomes being achieved, he might ship higher enterprise efficiency whereas altering the lives of his staff for the higher.

The 100-80-100™ mannequin he pioneered on this trial – 100% pay, 80% time, in change for a dedication to 100% output – is now altering the world of labor, being adopted by tons of of firms worldwide with our steerage.”

Setting Your 4-Day Week Program Up For Success

Miranda Miller: What productiveness suggestions are you able to share with firms seeking to make a four-day workweek marketing campaign a part of their tradition?

Joe O’Connor: “For a lot of firms, the four-day week is already right here. It’s simply buried underneath the rubble of wasteful practices and outdated processes, reminiscent of a scarcity of assembly self-discipline, pointless distractions and introductions within the workday, and poor use of expertise.

The four-day week can present a transformative forcing operate in your organization to handle these inefficiencies and powerfully align the corporate’s productiveness motivation with worker motivation for the transformative advantages that an additional day without work work can carry.

Whereas management must be very clear in setting and speaking the route of journey, together with the aim, aims, and metrics for the trial, they then must empower their individuals to determine the main points.

Probably the most detail-oriented CEO on this planet doesn’t know the day-to-day intricacies of the roles of every of their staff properly sufficient to revamp them.

The best and most sustainable productiveness positive aspects have been achieved by firms which have adopted a bottom-up strategy to implementation, enabling workers to work out the adjustments to work practices crucial to revamp their work.

Typically, some leaders overthink potential issues and blockages within the C-suite as an alternative of asking their individuals for concepts and options.”

Suggestions For Future-Proofing Your Profession & Enterprise

What’s subsequent for the world of labor? What key developments/practices that firms want to start out embracing, and the way can leaders future-proof themselves?

Joe O’Connor: “Once we began working with firms to trial or transition to reduced-hour working again in 2019, the first causes had been addressing productiveness points and burnout issues.

Whereas each of those stay necessary, they’ve been surpassed by recruitment and retention as the only greatest motive why leaders are being drawn to the four-day week.

In a really aggressive labor market, revolutionary and forward-thinking leaders acknowledge that if they’ll pull off the four-day week with out sacrificing organizational priorities, they may give themselves a really vital aggressive edge within the struggle for expertise.

Whereas many firms won’t be capable of compete within the high 1% of compensation, they’ll compete in providing among the many high 1% of workweeks.

And the best advantages will circulate for the longest interval to the earliest adopters.

Firms like Atom Financial institution within the U.Ok. have seen a 500% enhance in purposes for open job vacancies since shifting to a four-day week.

Healthwise, a big not-for-profit right here within the U.S. launched the four-day week final August to fight retention points and has since seen its unplanned worker turnover cut back to zero.

Leaders now must ask themselves: Is my biggest threat the chance of making an attempt the four-day week and failing, or is it my greatest competitor embracing this new approach of working first and reaping the rewards?

Extra Sources:


Featured Picture: Courtesy of Joe O’Connor/4 Day Week World

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