Four-day workweeks: Rare, but manageable
The mantra at Royce in Secaucus – “Get the job done, have a good quality of life, get paid well, and then avoid stress as much as possible.”
For employees of the leather goods designer, that’s not so hard to achieve. They’re given the option of half-day Wednesdays and off-day Fridays.
Royce CEO Andrew Royce Bauer said the implementation of essentially a four-day workweek is meant to retain workers for a longer period of time. Employees are still expected to put in 40 to 50 hours of work per week, including email correspondence over the weekend, but an extra day out of the office gives employees more time to themselves.
“The employees love it because our business is built on getting tasks done, not necessarily time put in,” Bauer said.
And workers don’t take advantage of the perk. Even during the slow summer months, two-thirds of the workforce shows up on Fridays, Bauer said.
A four-day workweek is still rare among companies in New Jersey and the U.S., and when it’s put in place, it’s usually an option for employees, rather than a rule.
Cali Williams Yost, founder of Flex+Strategy Group in Madison, said employers mainly choose the four-day route to motivate and get more out of their employees.
“They believe that it makes their workforce more engaged and more productive,” she said, noting the move can also help with overhead costs.
Research has shown, Yost said, that employees heavily value work-life flexibility, even if it sometimes equates to a cut in pay. In most cases, though, a full week’s worth of work is needed in order to earn a day away from the desk.