92% of the firms in the trial plan to keep the new schedule. Image: Pixabay

SA has trialled the four-day work week and the results are in…

South Africa’s first four-day work week trial shows some interesting differences from other countries that have tried the switch.


92% of the firms in the trial plan to keep the new schedule. Image: Pixabay

Results from 4 Day Week Global has revealed that work employees in South African are less inclined to take Fridays off.

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Among the 28 South African companies that started the six-month study in March, most were more flexible than their global peers in allowing their workers to choose the day or times that best suited their needs, according to the research.

In other countries, many chose Fridays not to work.

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South Africans and work side hustles

The differences were largely due to some uniquely South African traits. These included a number of people having “side hustles or embryonic entrepreneurial activities alongside their normal job.”

South Africans also felt they had limited options when it came to doing administrative activities online, while having travel challenges in a country that has poor public transport.

Interestingly, about 71% of participants were women.

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South Africa is already facing productivity challenges as load shedding affects operating hours and disrupts work-from-home plans. A lack of skills has contributed to a 31.9% unemployment rate.

The study used a model that offered full pay, with a commitment to delivering the same output on a 20% cut in time at work.

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Most participants were in professional services, IT, marketing and financial services.

92% of the firms planned to keep the new schedule.

4 Day Week describe themselves as global leaders in reduced work time, who are passionate about helping businesses, individuals, and governments work towards a future where productivity is prioritised over working hours, and work/life balance can be improved without sacrificing business results.