Daily Buzz: Experimenting With a Four-Day Workweek
One New Zealand firm recently tested a four-day workweek, resulting in happier employees and no drop in productivity. Also: A project from major tech giants aims to let people transfer their data from app to app.
Most workplaces pay lip service to “work-life balance,” but one company in New Zealand really went for it by allowing employees to work four days a week but get paid for five.
“The firm, Perpetual Guardian, which manages trusts, wills and estates, found the change actually boosted productivity among its 240 employees, who said they spent more time with their families, exercising, cooking, and working in their gardens,” reports Charlotte Graham-McLay in The New York Times.
The firm hired researchers to study the effects. It’s no shock that employees reported a better work-life balance, but supervisors also reported being happier with their teams during the workweek.
“Supervisors said staff were more creative, their attendance was better, they were on time, and they didn’t leave early or take long breaks,” said researcher Jarrod Haar, a human resources professor at Auckland University of Technology. “Their actual job performance didn’t change when doing it over four days instead of five.”
Haar also noted that employees took efforts to find efficiencies in their processes. “They worked out where they were wasting time and worked smarter, not harder,” Haar said.
Tech giants Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter teamed up to form the Data Transfer Project (DTP), a service-to-service data portability platform that aims to allow individuals to move their data across the web.
Today, the project is revealing “its plans for an open source data portability platform any online service can join,” reports TechCrunch.
“If the DTP gains industry-wide momentum and its founding partners cooperate in good faith rather than at some bare minimum level of involvement, it could lower the barrier for people to experiment with new apps,” writes Josh Constine. Imagine a near-future where nonprofits can create an app and users can simply populate it with their Facebook or Google data.
Other Links of Note
Volunteers are essential to nonprofits. Blue Avocado reveals how to manage volunteers to success.
Looking to hire a new CIO? Here are the skills to look for from the DelCor blog.
In the Dark is a popular investigative crime podcast. So much so that some listeners are willing to pony up $50 to join its Facebook group, reports Nieman Lab.