The benefits (and costs) of a four day work week
Is Thursday the new Friday? Iceland thinks so. Around 85% of the country’s workforce now has the option to work 8 hours a day for only 4-day a week – without a decrease in pay.
And it’s not just because it’s a win for work-life balance. Studies from Iceland and other countries show that it’s a win for the business too:
- Microsoft JP saw a 40% increase in productivity after testing the 4-day week
- 63% of UK companies said it makes retaining and attracting top talent easier
- 78% of employees reported being happier at their company
But of course, taking a whole extra day off for work comes at a cost: Iceland reported that some companies had to hire more people to make up for some of the hours lost per week. And since the average salary for a small business hire in the US is roughly $37K, it can add up.
Plus, for service businesses like real estate, medical offices, and construction, fewer days worked means fewer sales coming in. Meaning, the productivity gains may not outweigh the costs for some small businesses.
So, cutting a whole day out of the week may not be a feasible option for all. But, there are still steps you can take to reap the benefits of promoting work-life balance.
For example, you could grant half days on some Fridays. Or give the option for your team to work a 4/10 model (AKA 10-hour workdays for 4 days a week). That way, your team still gets a long weekend without having to completely give up a day’s worth of work. Making it a “win-win” for everyone involved!
👉 Get the full scoop.
Why your target stats are hurting your business
It’s Game 2 of the NBA Finals. There are less than 7:37 minutes left in the fourth. The Suns are up, but it’s not too late for the Bucks to make a last-minute comeback. And several key players (Sun’s center Deandre Ayton included) aren’t playing like it’s the finals.
That’s when coach Monty Williams sits Deandre down and says, stop focusing on your stats. Seems counterintuitive, right? I mean – you can only keep your lead if you get more points, more rebounds, more assists than the other team.
But Monty understands something most leaders don’t – how Goodhart’s Law and Campbell’s Law can get in the team’s way.
- Goodhart’s Law: When a metric turns into a target, it stops being productive.
- Campbell’s Law: The more you lean on a metric, the more it “corrupts the process it’s intended to monitor.”
In Deandre’s case, he sets his sights high, racking up 16.3 points and 11.9 rebounds on average in the postseason. But when a metric becomes a target, that’s it – it’s the only thing players will aim to hit. Even at the cost of dropping other responsibilities (like defense).
And it’s the same in business. Sales folks get monthly quotas and will do anything (end of the month deals and discounts included) to hit those quotas. Even if it means diminished margins.
Ad teams are measured by click-through rate. So, they create clickbait and target easy-to-reach demographics that don’t really need your product. You get the clicks, but ultimately, not the sale. This can drastically drive up the cost to acquire a customer.
According to these metrics, the sales folk and ad team hit their goals. But the numbers don’t tell the full story. And hitting your metrics (especially by gaming the system to your advantage) doesn’t help your business win.
So, what was Monty’s breakthrough coaching moment? “Play with force.” Meaning, do your damned best, play the game like it’s supposed to be played, and the stats will follow. Even if they don’t, Deandre can sleep well knowing he finished strong.
And it worked. Deandre added 2 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, and a block before the final buzzer. That’s because Monty chose a metric (even if it’s not strictly quantifiable) that measures the value of the work produced. The stats followed.
So, before you get your team chasing the next big goal, ask yourself: What exactly are we measuring? And why does this metric matter? That way, you can get everyone focused on playing their best, not just making themselves look good.
Why hiring within a 30-mile radius is so yesterday
It’s no longer fruitful to insist on hiring only within a 30-mile radius. That’s because hiring only local talent is (to put it bluntly) so yesterday.
Don’t get us wrong – hiring locally can be beneficial. However, chances are high that you probably won’t hire the best of the best. That’s because you have way more options to find talent when you hire beyond your city.
That’s where international hiring comes into play. When you tap into a much larger talent pool, you get way more benefits than just a new teammate. Here are the top four:
- New perspectives. Hiring locally likely brings in the same kind of culture and viewpoints as the rest of your local team. And when everyone thinks like each other, your company stays static.
- More innovation. Compared to teams with similar backgrounds, diverse teams are 45% more likely to grow their market share over the previous year. And they’re 70% more likely to capture a new share of the market.
- Saves lots of money. Remote employees are 47% more productive than in-person employees. And they turnover 50% less compared to their in-person counterparts. Meaning, the ROI on remote hires greatly outweighs the cost.
- Saves a ton of time. Using an international payroll solution like Deel takes all the administrative headaches out of hiring remotely. That way, you can hire the best candidates you can find in mere clicks.
This week’s highlight reel
- Simply the best! Phoenix’s largest local digital news source, AZCentral, just named Trainual as the #1 small business to work for in the state.
- Please don’t stop the music. VCs have poured $350M+ in music startups that help artists go viral on social. Because without tours, that’s what’s driving nearly all the growth in the music industry right now.
- The unicorn boom. About 136 startups reached the $1B mark in Q2 2021 – compared to 128 companies in 2020. 🤯 Most funding is going to tech companies that are making remote work easier.
- Space race. Richard Branson successfully reached the edge of space during Virgin Galactic’s rocket launch last weekend. And Bezos has his bags packed and ready to go into orbit on July 20.