‘The biggest hurdle to the 4 day week in SA is the mentality that it can’t work’

Bruce Whitfield talks to Jakobus Wilken of IQbusiness, one of the local businesses that will participate in the 4-day work week pilot program next year.

– Technology and management consultancy IQbusiness is one of the companies that signed up for the 4-Day Week SA pilot that begins in February.

– IQBusiness partner Jakobus Wilken believes the biggest hurdle in the way of a shorter work week is managers who aren’t ready to even try.

© fizkes/123rf.com
© fizkes/123rf.com

Local businesses that signed up to test a 4-day work week are preparing to start in February of next year.

The concept has already been tested in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the US and the UK.

SA 4 day week invited companies to join the pilot in a bid to improve workplace productivity and well-being in South Africa.

RELATED: SA’s 4-day workweek pilot program to begin in 2023

The registration deadline is January 15, 2023 and the project lasts six months.

The management and technology consultancy IQbusiness is one of the local companies that have joined.

Bruce Whitfield gets an update from IQ business partner Jakobus Wilken.

Wilken notes that in a company of around 1,000 employees, it is only possible to include a select number in the 4-day week pilot that will constitute a representative sample.

What awaits us?

November has been all about signing up, he says, and they look forward to a webinar this week hosted by 4 Day Week SA and 4 Day Week Global.

They will present recent findings from pilot tests conducted in Ireland and the US and share with us the lessons learned, what worked and what didn’t work…

Jakobus Wilken, Partner – IQbusiness

When we return from our holidays, we will begin our preparation and planning, which includes engaging with Stellenbosch University Business School to determine baseline productivity levels; this will include training participants on what to expect and how to best plan their days, etc.

Jakobus Wilken, Partner – IQbusiness

Whitfield asks Wilken what he thinks are the biggest possible obstacles to a shorter work week.

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While the specific obstacles would differ from business to business, he cites management’s perception that the 4-day week they canyou work as the main and broader problem.

At IQbusiness we cherish a behavior that we call our ‘duty of care’ which extends to our staff, to our customers and then of course to our business… We want to be at the forefront, but we don’t have all the answers…

Jakobus Wilken, Partner – IQbusiness

We have more questions than answers, but I am confident that participating in this pilot program will enlighten us and give us the answers we are looking for.

Jakobus Wilken, Partner – IQbusiness

These responses will help IQbusiness decide if and when to implement the 4-day week across the organization, he says.

Without exception, each of these pilots carried out in other parts of the world have demonstrated and verified extremely positive results in terms of productivity.

Jakobus Wilken, Partner – IQbusiness

The premise is the 100:80:100 principle, so you have to maintain 100% production or productivity for 80% of the time… and then for that, you get 100% of the pay you would normally get.

Jakobus Wilken, Partner – IQbusiness

Scroll up to listen to the interview.

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