This Whatcom business is seeing benefits from four-day work weeks. Would you switch?

A local business has switched its workers from the traditional five-day work week to four-day and has seen “multiple benefits” since the scheduling change, according to a news release from the Bellingham business.

The idea of a four-day workweek has become more popular in conversations, with the proposed four, 10-hour days being more attractive to some workers than five, eight-hour days.

An international study in 2022 by academic researchers at Cambridge University, Boston College and University College Dublin found that changing to a workweek of only four days had many benefits, although employees only worked 32 hours each week. The four-hour work week had no reduction in pay compared to a five-day work week, and the study found that both employers and employees liked the new schedule more, had an increase in performance, and had better productivity and well-being.

Brist Mfg., a Bellingham custom apparel manufacturer also experienced multiple benefits from switching to a four-day workweek, according to a news release from Brendan Pape, CEO of Brist Mfg. The local business has been open since 2015 and currently has 52 employees.

“In 2021, our company struggled to maintain morale, and we desperately desired to restore our pre-pandemic culture. But nothing we tried worked. Finally, a team member proposed an unconventional solution: a four-day work week with 10-hour days,” Pape wrote in the press release.

Pape first rejected the idea thinking it would have a negative effect on productivity, operational output, communications and customer service. After his employees encouraged him to reconsider, Pape agreed to try the new schedule for two months. The trial was then extended to six months, to a year, and then two years.

“The results were astounding. Employee happiness increased, productivity remained consistent, we saw a 35% year-over-year growth in our business and customer acquisition rose!” Pape wrote in the press release.

“Be open to new ideas. Testing them can lead to unexpected and positive outcomes. Listen to your people and think outside the box,” Pape wrote.

Would you like to try a four-day, 10-hour work week? We want to hear Whatcom County’s thoughts! Let us know in the poll below what your preferred schedule is, and if you already work a four-day schedule, we want to hear how it is going.

The polls will close on Monday, Jan. 30, at midnight. If you are having issues viewing the poll, click here.