A company has given its employees a four-day working week while paying them for five, and the results suggest more companies should consider it.
Australian Digital Agency, Versa, started trialling a four-day working week a year ago by closing the office on Wednesdays, and it was so successful they made the change permanent.
‘Our profits went up,’ Versa CEO Kath Blackham told Today Tonight.
‘We’re up 46 per cent in terms of revenue, and our staff retention is 20 per cent better than it was last year.’
The four-day working week is backed by experts like Professor Lyndall Strazdins from the Australian National University who claimed ‘the change needs to happen because at the moment we’ve got no … upper end to our working time’.
Professor Strazdins spent five years studying the working hours and general health of more than 8,000 Australians, and said the current working week is modelled on a system implemented over 100 years ago, and doesn’t suit the modern household.
‘I think (a four-day working week) is a great thing for the country to consider,’ she said.
‘There are some companies where that would be difficult, but … the evidence would be that working around a 35 or 34-hour week might in fact be good for wellbeing.’
Ms Blackham her employees flexibility and random days off since she founded the company a decade ago, until one day she decided shut the doors for one day in the middle of the week, giving staff two mini-weeks.
‘I know a lot of workplaces have that kind of those Monday morning ‘feels’, where there’s a bit of a vibe in the office, people are bantering back and forward,’ one employee told the ABC.
‘And in the end you get that kind-of hump day, which is a little harder to do. By the time we get to Thursday it’s like a Monday again. You get a new feeling of enthusiasm and cracking on with work.’
While there are other companies around the world implementing modernised working practices, Versa is the first of its kind in Australia, and have won a series of awards for their commitment to the wellbeing of their staff.