Possible or not: A 4 day work week in a manufacturing company?

In a world where the idea of a 4 day work week often feels like a far-off dream, Advanced RV in Willoughby is making it a reality.

“It’s the most beautiful thing in the whole world,” says one employee when asked about their 4 day work schedule. This sentiment echoes throughout the company, where employees now work 4 days a week, 32 hours in total, while still receiving full pay and maintaining productivity.

As another employee voices, at first it did sound like a catch, if you consider that the company is going to pay you not to be here. But truth is, there are only benefits to be counted and definitely no catch.

A workplace people love

At the helm of this initiative is Mike Neundorfer, the founder of Advanced RV. His vision was simple yet ambitious: to create a workplace where employees genuinely wanted and liked to come to work. But could they achieve working fewer hours with full pay while also enhancing productivity and client satisfaction?

Trial and error

The transition wasn’t without its challenges. Moving from a traditional 5 day work week to 4 required significant adjustments, particularly for a manufacturing company with tight deadlines. Initially, Neuendorfer tried to take on the whole project himself, also tackling the question on how to maintain productivity, but he soon realized that success relied on a collective effort and by asking the input of the employees. By involving the staff in the process and encouraging collaboration, the transition became feasible.

Implementing the 4 day work week necessitated quite a few operational changes, such as streamlining meetings and adopting new productivity tracking tools. Despite initial hurdles, the impact has been more than substantial: productivity has increased and performance and output are on par, while employees now have more time for family, hobbies, and self-care, leading to increased job satisfaction.

Global shift towards more well-being

The success of Advanced RV’s experiment reflects a broader trend towards reevaluating traditional work structures. Across the globe, companies are experimenting with shorter work weeks, citing ample benefits such as improved employee well-being next to sustained productivity.

In the US, there’s a growing movement towards adopting the 4 day work week, with legislative proposals and increasing corporate interest. Success stories, like Advanced RV’s, provide evidence that the shift is not only possible but also beneficial for both employees and businesses.

Pioneering with a trial period

For Advanced RV, a trial period confirmed the viability of the 4 day work week. What started as a 6 month experiment has now become a permanent fixture, after making some further tweaks, with employees embracing the change wholeheartedly.

As the debate around the 4 day work week continues, Advanced RV stands as a pioneer, demonstrating that alternative work schedules can lead to happier, more productive employees, also in a production environment. Whether this trend will spread (inter)nationally remains to be seen, but for now, Advanced RV is enjoying the rewards of a shorter work week.

“The funny thing is I actually like it now when Monday comes around. I look forward to come to work because I got all my stuff done over the weekend and I’m ready to go back to work”

So, the next time you find yourself longing for a longer weekend, remember that the four-day work week might not be as mythical as it seems—it could be closer than you think.

Meer weten?

Check out the interview with Advanced RV on Youtube.

Want to get started with a real four-day work week in your company?

Are you a Belgian organisation and interested in the 4 Day Week Global Pilot programme?

Tryangle continues to pioneer! We are extremely happy and proud that we can help land the global experiment here in Belgium too, in collaboration with 4 Day Week Global. Our co-founders Kim Hilgert and Griet Deca are inviting you to start working with the real 4 day week yourself, based on the successful tools that countless other organisations have already implemented.
Stay tuned for more details!
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