“Implementing a four-day workweek may put companies ahead of the curve instead of trailing it.”ERIN BLOOM / HEAD OF COMMUNITY AND CULTURE. AQUENT
As the nation slowly emerges from the pandemic, companies struggle to keep their best employees as the labor market has shifted. Aquent's Head of Community and Culture, Erin Bloom, spoke to The Philadelphia Inquirer on the debate, “Should employers switch to a four-day workweek?” Erin indicated that in mid-July the number of unfilled jobs in the U.S. was at record highs, with well over 9 million positions open. She believes the federal stimulus checks have allowed workers to be more selective when looking for a job, leading them to search for ones that promote work-life balance. Employees are in the driver's seat, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Less time in the office is part of a post-pandemic “new normal” which serves both employees and the employer. With many offices closed for more than a year, staff have proven that they are just as productive working remotely. Erin pointed out that in Japan, Microsoft let staff members take Fridays off and realized a 40% increase in productivity, and that Shake Shack and Shopify have tried four-day workweeks, and Kickstarter will join the list next year. And at Aquent, workplace flexibility has been a successful cornerstone of the company's benefits to both clients and employees. Erin told the Inquirer, “Returning to the office full-time has lost its cache. The four-day workweek has been associated with increased productivity, gains in happiness, and reported wellness in the employees involved.”
This article originally appeared on The Philadelphia Inquirer.