Last summer, the concept of a 4-day workweek gained significant attention, both internationally and within Hungary. Following the footsteps of multinational corporations, several companies in Hungary announced pilot tests to examine its effects. As a software development company, we recognized the potential of this innovative approach and introduced the 4-day workweek one year ago. We aimed to stay at the forefront of change that is likely to become an industry standard within a few years, given the increasing competition among employers for talented workforce.

Public Reception of the Initiative

Our announcement received widespread attention in the Hungarian press, with numerous media outlets reporting on our decision to implement the 4-day workweek. Initially, there were differing opinions among readers, forming two distinct camps. One group welcomed the initiative, expressing a desire for more companies to adopt such a mindset. However, there was also a surprisingly negative response, with some criticizing the decision and suggesting that it would lead to reduced productivity or salary cuts for employees.

In reality, we implemented a 4-day workweek, working 9 hours a day, while maintaining the salaries. In return, our employees now enjoy 52 long weekends per year, along with the continued flexibility of remote work options.

Changes in Work Organization

Initially, it was challenging to adjust project rhythms to accommodate the new work schedule, as weekly planning and daily meetings were structured around the previous 5-day workweek. The transition also required flexibility from our clients, who, overall, were understanding and appreciated our efforts to stay ahead of the curve. We quickly adapted our operations, ensuring smooth project management without disruptions. For example, the previous rule of not deploying features on Fridays shifted to Thursdays. Beyond work-related adjustments, small details also require attention, such as avoiding scheduling company events on Thursdays or weekly activities on Wednesdays since the next working day is Monday.

Results and Employee Feedback

To measure the impact of the 4-day workweek, we conducted surveys before and after its implementation.

The survey clearly indicated that our employees perceive a better work-life balance since the change. Responses regarding time management showed a more positive trend, demonstrating the motivating effect of the 4-day workweek. Results related to sleep and rest also improved, indicating that the added hour of work during the 4 days is balanced by the extended weekend. Furthermore, we witnessed a decrease in distractions and increased focus, resulting in performance that offsets the half-day reduction. Additionally, the overall mood and team cohesion have noticeably improved. Several employees now organize activities on Friday mornings, such as group workouts, where all the other people continue working.

Recruitment Advantage

As predicted, the 4-day workweek has provided us with a competitive edge in recruitment. The IT sector remains highly competitive for skilled developers, and being a company located outside the capital poses additional challenges. Moreover, the post-pandemic world has expanded the talent pool globally, as remote work has become an industry standard. However, following the introduction of the 4-day workweek, even previously less effective job postings suddenly became appealing to developers. One year later, it is evident that employees greatly value this initiative, and it continues to offer us a significant advantage as an employer. Many individuals prioritize the enhanced quality of life provided by continuous long weekends, even over higher salaries that could be earned working remotely for other companies. Being a small company, we can adapt to significant changes swiftly, and our commitment to innovation and continuous improvement drives our progress. Just as we leverage innovative solutions and introduce new technologies in our development projects, we strive to be innovative in organizational development and the creation of an optimal work-life balance. Our progress has been driven by this mindset, and we firmly believe that it will pay off in future challenges.

Conclusion

One year since introducing the 4-day workweek, we have successfully demonstrated the benefits of this innovative approach to work organization. If you are curious about more details, reach out to us, and we’ll be more than happy to have a chat about the topic.