These South African companies are beginning to experiment with the 4-day work week

Companies celebrating a 4-day work week in South Africa from February have started signing up, with some even suggesting what people can do with their extra day off.

The 4-day-week SA Pioneer pilot is the country’s first attempt ever.

IQbusiness, a management and technology consulting firm, announced its participation in the pioneer pilot last week and was joined by market research and insights consultancy KLA, web design and development firm Big Beard Web Solutions and business change makers Semco Style Institute South Africa, the Career strategist Licia Dewing and cloud-based financial solutions provider Valuesmart Business Solutions.

The first ad agency to join is 3Verse, followed by Social Happiness, a digital marketing agency, The OMG, a management consultancy, Social Impact Insights, a social impact planning and measurement company, EntruTech, a managed IT solutions provider , Intigrate Business Solutions , an accounting and business consulting firm and Nkwali Compliance Consultants.

ALSO READ: Will the 4-day work week improve your well-being? Maybe we’ll find out soon

Companies can still register

Companies that register for the Pioneer pilot project by January 15, 2023. Companies complete a two-week intensive onboarding to prepare.

Karen Lowe, director of 4 Day Week SA, says a second pilot is set to start in May 2023 thanks to growing interest in a short-time work week.

“Smaller companies and those in the professional services sector are generally the first testers of a four-day workweek because it makes it easier for them to make big changes, but we help companies of all sizes, across different industries, take a carefully considered approach to this new one accept working methods.”

She says the organization is actively recruiting for the second pilot, with enrollment ending February 28, 2023.

According to Lowe, the South African pilot participants will test a new way of working that is recognized as a way to support and empower workers to increase organizational productivity and have a positive impact on society and the environment.

It is based on the 100-80-100™ model, which mandates 100% pay for 80% of the time in exchange for a commitment to deliver 100% of the work. They are supported by 4 Day Week Global, the experts conducting trials worldwide in partnership with 4 Day Week SA.

Research results from studies all over the world clearly support the four-day week. According to Lowe, this is illustrated by the fact that halfway through the current trial in the UK, most of the participating companies said they saw no loss of productivity during the trial and in some cases a significant improvement.

There were also positive results from test runs in Ireland and the US, which are expected to be released in late November.

ALSO READ: The SA consulting company starts with a 4-day work week

For this reason, companies have decided to participate

“Trying out the four-day workweek and the data behind it is something every leader in their business needs to seriously consider.

Reducing working hours has been shown to increase business productivity and improve employee health while working to create a more sustainable work environment. This provides time and solitude for people to build stronger families and communities at the same time while staying fulfilled and successful at work.”

– Adam Craker, CEO of IQBusiness

“As a premier insight consulting firm, we are committed to contributing to a healthy and thriving environment.

We understand that today’s pressures and changing value systems require a rethinking of traditional approaches to work and work-life balance. Innovation to get better is in our genes.

We are excited to take the opportunity to learn from the wealth of learning content and experiences that this pilot will provide.”

– Jenni Pennacchini, Director: Business Solutions at KLA

“I came across the pilot program as part of my personal mission for 2022 to be more organized, structured and consistent. In seeking the “why” of Big Beard Web Solutions, the primary motivation is to take a people-centric approach in response to our most pressing challenges.”

– Nathan L. Simons, Founder and CEO of Big Beard Web Solutions

“At the Semco Style Institute, we believe that by empowering people, we are able to create smarter companies that are also more productive and have a happier workforce.

We believe the 4-day-week movement plays a critical role in creating productive and rewarding work environments.”

– Christiaan Grové, partner and co-founder of Semco Style.

“We have joined the four-day workweek in the hope that we can improve the overall well-being of our employees. People are the most important part of our business and if we don’t have happy employees, we won’t have happy customers.”

– Willie van Dyk, CEO of Valuesmart Business Solutions

“When we founded the agency, one of the pillars that the three partners agreed on was that family is important.

We had spent our careers in multinational agencies where the motto was work hard, play hard. We decided to separate the two – work hard then go home and play.

The 4-day workweek allows us to indulge the suburban cliché of ‘Live, Laugh & Love’ – fuel to work smarter, more efficiently and with more insight.”

– Ivan Johnson, creative partner at 3Verse

“Working with established and emerging leaders across industries to help them identify and achieve work that matters, involves defining a work-life balance.

Increasingly, my client base is reaching burnout before they know it, which means a longer road to recovery to identify their purpose before they can be their best.”

– Licia Dewing, career strategist

ALSO READ: Surprising reasons people are returning to the office

60% would like to work 4 days a week

A recent survey of 3,500 participants by Auto & General Insurance found that 71% of respondents were back to the office following the Covid-19 shutdown and 52% of them said their workplace did not offer flexible working policies.

So it’s no wonder that over 60% thought the 4-day week was an excellent idea.

When asked what they would do with the extra day, 32% said they would spend more time with family, 18% would use the time to study, 16% would engage in personal business endeavors, and 12% would rest and recharge your batteries.

“The workplace of the future focuses on well-being, flexibility and sustainability. Whether that takes the form of a 4-day work week, a hybrid policy, or a commuting office environment, it’s the cornerstone of an attractive employee value proposition,” said Ricardo Coetzee, head of Auto & General Insurance.

He says he’s noticed a spike in inquiries for Auto & General’s Coffee vehicle insurance product, which was launched during the height of the pandemic.

“While working from home may now be a pipe dream for many South Africans, it is still unusual for companies. At Auto & General, some of our employees combine office and remote work, and the popularity of our coffee product suggests our customers’ employers do, too.”

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