Elm Street Placements - May/June 2019


Are 4-Day Workweeks the Secret to Productivity?

Could you get more done with one less day in the week?

balance. Considering the fact that burnout — and the sick days that come with it — is such a problem in the United States, providing employees with a better work-life balance may be the secret to a happier, more productive workplace. After the successful trial, Perpetual Guardian opted to stick with the four-day workweek permanently. They provide several tips for implementing a four-day workweek at your company. • Do your own web and local research. • Speak to your staff and be clear about your objectives. • Ensure policy is well-supported and resourced. • Create a policy that can flex depending on workloads, projects, or customer requirements. • Let your customers know what’s going on and assure them there will be no drop in service. • Ensure the new employment structure doesn’t cut across legal requirements. • Be clear that the aim of the initiative is to benefit the company as well as the employees. • Recognize that flexible working initiatives aren’t magic bullets. If you’re interested in learning more about Perpetual Guardian’s four- day work week, check out the white paper written by The University of Auckland researchers at 4DayWeek.co.nz/four-day-week-trial .

Of course not! Most of us need more time in the week, not less. At least, that’s the assumption. But a New Zealand company recently proved that when it comes to

company productivity, less may mean more.

Wilderness therapy programs are short-term programs designed to target a child, teenager, or young adult’s strengths and challenges. On the surface, sending a child into the rugged wilderness as a therapeutic technique might seem “out of the box,” but as the following facts show, these well-vetted programs can provide participants with an effective option for treatment. Thriving in the Outdoors In 1996, the Outdoor Behavioral Health Care Council (OBHCC) was formed to provide better guidance and support for children, teens, and young adults in these wilderness therapy programs. This organization continues to serve as an accreditation foundation, research center, and collaboration group. • The OBHCC is at the forefront of research on this form of therapy. Studies are headed by Dr. Michael Glass of the University of New Hampshire. In March of 2018, Perpetual Guardian, a finance management company in New Zealand, began testing a four-day workweek for its 240 employees. Researchers from the University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology studied the firm before, during, and after the trial. Perpetual Guardian isn’t the first company to test-drive a four-day workweek, but during the trial period, they did something unusual: They didn’t reduce employees’ salaries. Paying employees for five days of work while only requiring four days sounds like a surefire way to bankrupt a company, but researchers found the change had the opposite effect. By trimming the hours down and maintaining pay, Perpetual Guardian saw a 20 percent increase in productivity. The shorter workweek motivated employees to get their work done quicker by cutting down meeting times, becoming more self- motivated, and telling their colleagues when they were being distracting. After the trial, employees at Perpetual Guardian also reported feeling 7 percent less stressed and a 24 percent improvement in work-life DID YOU KNOW?


• With seven active researchers and 200 studies to date, OBHCC has conducted significant research on the benefits of wilderness therapy through intake and discharge evaluations.

• In a 2016 study published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies, young adults who underwent treatment in wilderness therapy reported “significant improvement” in their

mental health and personal communication skills. The participants also reported having more trust in others.

The growth and difficulties a wilderness participant faces through these programs — as our consultants learn in weekly conversations with the participant’s therapist — provide our consultants with information to help determine what the longer term needs are. Let’s work collaboratively to help these families and children thrive. Let our consultants help by calling Elm Street Placements at 908-228-2212.



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