Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

The 4-day work week works. So why aren't we using it?

A New Zealand study shows a 24% increase in productivity... by working less.

Office cubicles, c/o Videoblocks.com

A study conducted by a New Zealand business confirmed what many of us have felt on Friday afternoons: a 5-day work week really isn't that effective. The study went one further and gave credence to slackers everywhere: a 4-day work week is actually more productive than a 5-day work week. 


Perpetual Guardian, a wealth management firm in Wellington, New Zealand ran the experiment for 8 weeks and hired two researchers to report back on the findings of the study. According to the New York Times, employees saw a 24% increase in productivity and a better work-life balance. That's not all: all meetings were truncated from two hours to half an hour each. Sound like heaven in an office setting?

The company's founder, Andrew Barnes, put the idea of the 4-day work week into motion after reading about a Business Insider article about how a 40 hour work week might be 5 hours too long and how workplace distractions are as productivity-killing as smoking pot or losing sleep.  

An HR professor at the University of Auckland, Jarrod Harr, confirms that the findings were extremely beneficial to the company. “They worked out where they were wasting time and worked smarter, not harder,” he said, “Supervisors said staff were more creative, their attendance was better, they were on time, and they didn’t leave early or take long breaks. TTheir actual job performance didn’t change when doing it over four days instead of five.”

America, on the other hand, works more than any other developed country with an average of 47 hours a week, according to a 2014 Gallup poll. 1 in 5 American workers work through their lunch, while Republican lawmakers seemingly want to do away with retirement savings, meaning that we may all just work until we're dead. Which is an odd, Puritanical, and deeply troubling sentiment that some Americans are all too proud to crow about. With zero guaranteed maternity or paternity leave, American workers really are getting the short end of the stick.

It makes you wonder: are Perpetual Guardian hiring? Yes, they are.  

Hulu's original movie "Palm Springs" is the comedy we needed this summer

Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti get stuck in an infinite wedding time loop.

Gear
  • Two wedding guests discover they're trapped in an infinite time loop, waking up in Palm Springs over and over and over.
  • As the reality of their situation sets in, Nyles and Sarah decide to enjoy the repetitive awakenings.
  • The film is perfectly timed for a world sheltering at home during a pandemic.
Keep reading Show less

How the Smiths took over Europe

In more than a dozen countries as far apart as Portugal and Russia, 'Smith' is the most popular occupational surname

Image: Marcin Ciura
Strange Maps
  • 'Smith' is not just the most common surname in many English-speaking countries
  • In local translations, it's also the most common occupational surname in a large part of Europe
  • Ironically, Smiths are so ubiquitous today because smiths were so special a few centuries ago
Keep reading Show less

Dinosaurs suffered from cancer, study confirms

A recent analysis of a 76-million-year-old Centrosaurus apertus fibula confirmed that dinosaurs suffered from cancer, too.

A Centrosaurus reconstruction

Surprising Science
  • The fibula was originally discovered in 1989, though at the time scientists believed the damaged bone had been fractured.
  • After reanalyzing the bone, and comparing it with fibulas from a human and another dinosaur, a team of scientists confirmed that the dinosaur suffered from the bone cancer osteosarcoma.
  • The study shows how modern techniques can help scientists learn about the ancient origins of diseases.
Keep reading Show less

David Epstein: Thinking tools for 'wicked' problems

Join the lauded author of Range in conversation with best-selling author and poker pro Maria Konnikova!

Big Think LIVE

UPDATE: Unfortunately, Malcolm Gladwell was not able to make the live stream due to scheduling issues. Fortunately, David Epstein was able to jump in at a moment's notice. We hope you enjoy this great yet unexpected episode of Big Think Live. Our thanks to David and Maria for helping us deliver a show, it is much appreciated.


Keep reading Show less
Scroll down to load more…
Quantcast