4DWW Challenge: It’s finally over! Here’s what we learned…

This is the last part of our series on IWT’s 4-Day Workweek Challenge, where we take you behind the scenes to show what it’s like for us as we test out a compressed work schedule. The post you’re about to read is written by Tony Ho Tran, a professional journalist for The Daily Beast and a former copywriter for IWT. Join us as we dive deep on the highs and lows of the challenge — for one last time.

The summer has come and gone — and with it, IWT’s 4DWW Challenge. 

For the past few months, we’ve given you a look into IWT’s own test drive of a bold and controversial new way of working

We’ve taken a look at the highs and lows of a compressed workweek. 

We’ve shown you the numbers from our trial and 4DWW statistics from around the world. 

We’ve also given you actionable advice and insights into the hard-won lessons we’ve learned from it all.

Now, we’re officially DONE with the challenge. 

As we mentioned in our very first post, though, the end of the trial doesn’t necessarily mean we’re done with 4DWW. As a team, we planned on holding a vote to see whether or not we wanted to continue with it or leave it behind as a fun summer challenge. 

A few weeks ago, we voted — and the results are in

Drumroll, please

Surprise! We voted to continue the 4DWW until the end of 2023. 

Not only that, but everyone in the company voted for this to happen. 

Of course, it comes with two caveats:

  • We continue to meet the same success criteria. This means no increase in emergencies (e.g., the website crashing, transactions aren’t processing), all teams are able to focus on their work without having to address said emergencies, and our performance goals are being met. 
  • We re-evaluate the 4DWW quarterly. At the end of each quarter, we’re going to check in with everyone again and vote on whether or not to continue the compressed week. We don’t want to continue to run things indefinitely if it’s causing stress. 

As always, IWT employees will follow the company’s value of communicating with intention. That means that if there are any issues that we need to re-assess, then they will be addressed promptly and fully. 

Based on our latest 4DWW survey data from employees, it looks like we’ll have an easy time of it too.

Notice that the week of 8/25 was actually one of our strongest weeks yet when it comes to how we felt about the 4DWW Challenge. Not only were projects being fulfilled and deadlines being met, but employees were feeling rested, relaxed, and in control of their own work.

Here are a few things our employees have said about the 4DWW in the past few weeks:

“Another strong week, and I got more done in less time. The shorter workweek has helped me get the priority items done first. It seems to me that the team is now more critical of what’s important and what’s not, which lets me have more time for the longer term, more important projects.”

“The 4DWW is amazing and I feel like everyone’s communication has become super crisp. We know what’s needed and when. We’re realistic about what we can accomplish and we’re moving things forward.”

“It’s hard to believe that we’ve only been doing this for 2 months. It feels like it has been part of our DNA forever. It feels great.”

Some weeks are better than others but overall it’s good. My stress level was higher last week [with Labor Day]. I remember feeling the same way before the long holiday weekends of Memorial Day and 4th of July.”

“Projects that I am involved in are becoming more team-based and I have yet had an issue with anyone being unable to contribute or needing a reminder of deadlines. Thinking back to the amounts of stress/time-crunch that Q1 was forcing on us, I feel like the 4DWW test has made up for it.”

Overall, the sentiment is incredibly positive. Everyone at IWT is proud that they were able to finish the 4DWW Challenge with no major issues — and that they’re now working at a place that has embraced a compressed week. 

IWT’s values at work

As the 4DWW becomes more and more popular, other companies may follow suit. There are lots of good reasons for it: Studies have shown that it improves physical and mental health, ups productivity, and increases overall job satisfaction. 

For IWT, though, one of the greatest aspects of the challenge is that we truly got to live our values:

  • We’re constant learners, so the 4DWW lets us test out a data-backed process for ourselves to see if it worked for us. 
  • We’re better as a team, which allowed us to communicate with intent at every step of this process and help each other when we needed it.
  • We came to the table with solutions and became even more creative and collaborative as a result of this challenge. 

So, the 4DWW Challenge might be done — but we’re not done with the 4DWW. 

As we embark on this new chapter of IWT, we’re excited to be able to live out this bold new Rich Life that many of us couldn’t imagine when we first joined. 

For years, we’ve taught our readers and students the systems, tactics, and lessons to help them build the life they want. It’s allowed them to break out of the invisible scripts that society has told them about how their life “should” be. 

We wanted to show you all that we do that too. If it inspires a few of you to try out a 4DWW at your own company or business — or even just trying to take back a little bit of time for yourself — then that’s what our Rich Life is all about. 

As for myself, it’s been a blast covering this topic for you all — but now I have to ride off into the proverbial sunset. If you liked my writing, be sure to follow me on the website-formerly-known-as-Twitter where I post my articles from my job as a science and tech journalist. Finally, do me a favor: Take a random Friday or Monday off this month. If your boss asks why, tell them it’s a personal day (or that a random newsletter writer gave you permission). Let us know how it made you feel — and if it makes you want to make the 4DWW a part of your Rich Life.

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