The content marketing agency is cutting the work week from five days to four – without a reduction in pay or benefits. The winning formula will be to maintain 100% productivity in 80% of the time by finding new efficiencies and streamlining processes.
The reasoning behind this is that with exhaustion, burnout and illness seemingly to be the trademark of modern working life, what if companies could ‘cure’ employees by giving them more time off, enabling them to return to work more rested, energised and inspired?
2Stories co-founder and chief content officer Anelde Greeff says, “2023 is the year of people for 2Stories. We are putting our team’s well-being at the centre of everything we do. And what better way than to gift them some precious time?”
But the four-day week pilot is not just about achieving a better work-life balance for employees, says 2Stories co-founder and chief operating officer Joanne Hope.
“It’s about fostering a culture of innovation and productivity. By giving our team the opportunity to have more time for themselves, their families, and their hobbies, we’re investing in their overall well-being and creativity.
“We anticipate that this will, in turn, lead to new ideas, fresh perspectives and ultimately, greater success for our agency and, of course, our clients.”
The agency is participating in the trial with almost 30 like-minded companies in South Africa,
According to 4 Day Week Global, shorter work weeks ensure that economic benefits can be shared by everyone, while improving quality of life, civic engagement and the environment.
The time off would function as a hybrid between a working day and a weekend, with employees using it to gain new qualifications, pursue creative interests, volunteer in their communities, tackle life admin, or engage in cultural activities.
Four-day weeks are not limited to desk-bound workers alone: nurses, sales staff, manufacturers, and restaurateurs as well as tech start-ups, established companies, and small businesses have seen its success.
Successful pilots in North America, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia and the UK, with national governments and companies alike joining the movement, have proven the four-day week to work for employees and employers.
According to a study with trial participants in Ireland, authored by independent academic researchers at Boston College, University College Dublin and Cambridge University, the trial has been a resounding success on virtually every level.
Companies are extremely pleased with their performance, productivity, talent attraction and overall experience during the trial, with almost all of them already committing or planning to continue with the four-day week.
Revenue has increased over the course of the trial, and sick days, absenteeism and resignations are down.
Of the surveyed employees who participated in the trial, 96.9% want to continue working four days a week.
Stress, burnout, fatigue, and work-family conflict all declined, while physical and mental health, work-family and work-life balance, and satisfaction across multiple domains of life increased.
Greeff anticipates similar success for 2Stories: “Everyone will win: a happy team creates great work, and great work leads to happy clients.”