9 May 2023
Specialist professional recruitment firm Robert Walters Group has forged a new partnership with pioneering non-profit organisation 4 Day Week Global Foundation to explore how the concept of the 4-day working week could be a strategy to maximise productivity and retention with regard to staffing and recruitment for companies worldwide.
Robert Walters Group and 4 Day Week Global Foundation kicked off the new partnership by launching the first in a series of webinars with the founder and pioneer of the 4-day week movement, Andrew Barnes, and introduced the concept featuring real examples from companies implementing the new 4-day work model. He was inspired to launch the 4 Day Week Global Foundation after implementing a 4-day working week in his own real estate planning company, Perpetual Guardian (with more than 240 employees) in New Zealand with resounding success on productivity. As part of the Robert Walters Group’s global network, the Japan office plans to be actively involved to raise awareness on this topic in-market by conducting research and initiatives for companies and employees in Japan.
What is a “4-day working week”?
The 4 Day Week Global Foundation is currently conducting the largest global trials on the topic with over 100,000 people from across 250 companies taking part as of April 2023. Combined with a global research program involving academics from leading universities including Boston College, University of Cambridge and University of Oxford, these trials enable all employees to work a “4-day working week”. This means instead of working the usual 5 days on an existing salary, employees work based on the “100-80-100 rule” which stipulates company employees “receive 100% pay for 80% of the time, while still driving 100% productivity for their work”. Andrew says, “It isn’t about compressing a 40-hour week into 4 days, but how do businesses maintain productivity and customer service whilst delivering the other benefits to employees”. Andrew and acting CEO of the foundation Charlotte Lockhart also share their vision for the organization: “The 4-Day Week Global Foundation provides a community environment for companies, researchers, academics and interested parties to be able to connect and advance this idea of part of the future of work.”
More than 90% of employees surveyed want their companies to implement a 4-day working week
To explore attitudes towards the concept, Robert Walters Group conducted a series of LinkedIn Polls across UK & Ireland and Australia, as well as a mixed country grouped poll* to find out how employees would feel about their companies implementing the 4-day working week model. The majority of those surveyed said they are strongly in favour of their employers implementing a 4-day working week, with more than 90% responding “yes” per country.
*Grouped poll = LinkedIn users from the following countries were surveyed in this poll: Japan, South Africa, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, China, Mexico, Dubai, UAE, New Zealand, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan)
LinkedIn Poll Results:
Q: Would you like your employer to implement a 4-day working week trial?
Moreover, approximately half of those who answered in UK & Ireland and Australia believe their well-being would be improved as a result of adopting this new model. Approximately half of respondents also said they ranked a 4-day week on full pay as the most appealing incentive when applying for a new job.
Q: What impact do you think the 4-day work week would have on you?
A: “Improved well-being”
Q: What is most appealing when applying for a new job?
A: “4-day week with full pay”
Reference: LinkedIn Poll on 4-Day Working Week
Poll period: March – April 2023
Would you like your employer to implement a 4-day working week trial?
3,111 users voted
What impact do you think the 4-day work week would have on you?
3,165 users voted
What is most appealing when applying for a new job?
5,046 users voted
In addition, out of the 250 companies taking part in the global trials, results from 61 of them from the UK four-day week pilot showed 92% are continuing the trial with the 4-day working week and 18 confirm the policy has already been made a permanent change at their company.
A 4-day working week model for Japan?
The 4-day working week work model is also slowly gaining attention across companies in Japan. While it is still a relatively new topic for Japan, some of Japan’s largest companies such as Fast Retailing, which operates UNIQLO, had implemented a 4-day work model for some full-time employees in 2015 and similarly Yahoo Japan later in 2017. The 4 Day Week Global Foundation is also considering conducting more in-depth studies on this topic for the Japan market.
CEO of North East Asia at Robert Walters, Jeremy Sampson comments on the potential for the model in Japan: “In a market like Japan where overwork and burnout are often uncomfortable realities as part of the company work culture, I believe the 4-Day Work Week model, or an adapted version of it, has the potential to challenge and drive well needed change to boost productivity and the wellbeing of employees and thereby further enhancing overall company performance.”
For more information on the 4-day working week concept, please refer to a full webinar discussing the topic hosted by Robert Walters featuring Andrew Barnes: https://info.robertwalters.com/Group-Global-2023-Q1-17—The-4-Day-Work-Week-Webinar_RW—Watch-in-demand.html
Title: Would a 4-Day Working Week Increase Productivity and Retention in Your Business?
Andrew Barnes – Founder of 4 Day Week Global Foundation
Charlotte Lockhart – Co-Founder and Acting CEO, 4 Day Week Global Foundation
Anne-Marie Lister – Chief People Officer, ATOM Bank
Indy Lachhar – Global HR Director, Robert Walters Group
Sam French – HR Manager, Robert Walters Group
About 4 Day Work Week Global Foundation
4 Day Week Global is a not-for-profit community established by Andrew Barnes and Charlotte Lockhart to provide a platform for like-minded people who are interested in supporting the idea of the 4 Day Week as a part of the future of work. This idea was born out of the waves of attention we received from around the world in reaction to our successful program launched at Perpetual Guardian in 2018.
About Robert Walters Japan:
Established in London, United Kingdom, in 1985, Robert Walters is a specialist recruitment consultancy with operations in 31 countries around the world. Robert Walters Japan established its Tokyo office in 2000 and Osaka office in 2007. For over 20 years, we’ve been a driving force in the Japanese bilingual recruitment market, providing high quality candidates for our clients and access to the best jobs. Our consultants are experts in their respective industries and work in teams to provide recruitment consultation services across a wide range of industries and job categories.
PR & Communications, Robert Walters Japan
Phone: 03-4570-1500 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org