So far our four-day work week experiment is working. We haven’t found ourselves collectively wishing we had an extra work day a week. We haven’t found ourselves gasping for extra hours. Instead I feel like we’ve been more focused and working better together.
Since going to the four-day work week just about a month ago we’ve released the following updates:
- A better project switcher in Basecamp.
- A complete revamp of tasks in Highrise.
- Reply to a message via email in Basecamp.
- Advanced search in Highrise.
- Bulk delete in Highrise.
- ...and a few more things coming soon.
Could we have gotten more good work done if we worked those extra five Fridays? I seriously doubt it. Would we have been happier working five extra days over the last 30? I seriously doubt it. Is a four-day work week better for morale and productivity than a typical five-day work week? I seriously believe it.
One thing I’ve come to realize is that urgency is overrated. In fact, I’ve come to believe urgency is poisonous. Urgency may get things done a few days sooner, but what does it cost in morale? Few things burn morale like urgency. Urgency is acidic.
Emergency is the only urgency. Almost anything else can wait a few days. It’s OK. There are exceptions (a trade show, a conference), but those are rare.
When a few days extra turns into a few weeks extra then there’s a problem, but what really has to be done by Friday that can’t wait for Monday or Tuesday? If your deliveries are that critical to the hour or day, maybe you’re setting up false priorities and dangerous expectations.
If you’re a just-in-time provider of industry parts then precise deadlines and deliveries may be required, but in the software industry urgency is self-imposed and morale-busting. If stress is a weed, urgency is the seed. Don’t plant it if you can help it.