To many of us, it may seem like teetering on the brink of burnout is what it takes to succeed at work. But, thanks to the growing four-day work week movement, companies are choosing to put their employees’ well-being first by working less and living more.

One of those companies is the Toronto-based research and consulting agency Fresh Squeezed Ideas.

The CEO of Fresh Squeezed Ideas, Karen McCauley, told Curiocity that her company “participated in the consulting burnout culture for many years.”

However, during the pandemic, Fresh Squeezed Ideas experienced what McCauley called “the great resignation,” with a third of the team leaving the company and the consulting world entirely in early 2021.

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It was because of this experience that McCauley knew it was time to “improve the overall living experience” for her employees.

Fresh Squeezed Ideas was one of 10 Canadian companies to participate in the 4-Day Week Global pilot project, a non-profit organization that helps workplaces around the world transition to shortened work weeks.

The first pilot has officially concluded, and the results are in — none of the companies who participated are returning to a five-day work week.

Not only that, but the companies also experienced an average rise in revenue of 38% from the previous year.

Fresh Squeezed Ideas will also be keeping their four-day work week permanent, but has decided to keep their Fridays “flexible” instead of completely offline.

“People found that this just relieved the stress of what they have to get done in the week,” said McCauley.

When it came to designing what their four-day week looked like, McCauley put the power in her employees’ hands.

She gave them plenty of time to identify pain points and come up with ways to work more collaboratively and efficiently.

“Flexible Fridays” allow people to keep their Fridays open for anything, whether that’s responding to urgent client matters, spending time with family, or simply relaxing.

As a result, “people started to say that they experienced less stress on Sunday nights” knowing that they only had four working days ahead of them.

Not only are employees happier, but they are accomplishing the same amount of high-quality work.

McCauley’s advice to companies considering a four-day work week is to “give themselves a long runway to get employees used [it].”

“Have employees themselves identify what the opportunities are to refine and optimize their process,” she added.

“The problems need to be identified by the people and the solutions need to be created by the people.”