How many times have you come back from a long weekend thinking, “I wish every weekend could be three days long?”
Well, if you worked for Orlando-based online education platform Treehouse, it wouldn’t be just a wish—it’d be reality.
Since its founding in 2010, the company has run on a four-day work week: The office is closed on Friday, and no one’s expected to work—even from home. Employees get three-day weekends to spend with their families, travel, or, well, do whatever else they want.
Sounds awesome, but can a business actually run like this? According to a recent Inc. article featuring Treehouse CEO and co-founder Ryan Carson, absolutely. In addition to the obvious recruiting and retention benefits (um, who wouldn’t want to work for a company with three-day weekends—and who would ever leave it?), Carson has found that the policy has led to a culture of intense productivity.
The article explains:
Carson says the three-day weekends also help employees come into work all the more eager on Monday morning. Having recharged for three days rather than two helps, he says, but even more effective is the threat of the week ending so soon. Thursday (the last day of the Treehouse work week) ‘comes fast,’ Carson says, so employees tend to work all the harder to make sure they meet their weekly goals inside that limited timeframe.
It’s not just Treehouse—other companies have tried a reduced work week with similar degrees of success. Writes Jay Love, an employee at Slingshot SEO: “Even though the team is working 10-hour days, the sense of urgency brings a high level of energy, and, in my opinion, focused collaboration. It is a joy to watch and to be sucked up into.”
So, could it work for your company? If your work requires constant interaction with clients who operate on a traditional schedule, maybe not. But for many other businesses, it just might. Love suggests running a “trial period” of a few months, which could help test the impact and consequences of a revised work week.
Hey, with summer right around the corner, it’s certainly worth bringing it up to your boss.