Bolt Permanently Switches to 4-Day Workweek
January 7, 2022
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by Stephen Kanyi

Tech unicorn Bolt is permanently switching to a four-day workweek.

Talking to CNBC Ryan Breslow was enthusiastic about the announcement explaining that it was motivated after successful results from a pilot trial done earlier last year.

“I couldn’t imagine running a company any other way,” he said in an interview with CNBC.

Ryan made the announcement on a rather long Twitter thread where he went through the rationale behind the move.

In it, however, he highlights 5 key lessons that he got from the pilot trial which I think is worth a read in itself.

“It’s official: Bolt is now the first tech unicorn to permanently switch to a 4-day workweek. Our 3-month experiment proved every core thesis:

Heightened 1. Productivity

                       2. Engagement

                       3. Wellness

 We’re never going back and here’s why:

Before we dive in, a point on the nature of work.

Many companies are plagued with ‘theatre work’ i.e., work designed to “look” good vs actually move the needle. Countless meetings, confusing presentations, constant banter Weary face

The worst! We reject theatre work at Bolt. At Bolt, we don’t care about how work “looks.”

We care about the only thing that matters: The impact Chart with an upwards trend

Did you move the needle this week?

Bolters have said how generous we are giving everyone a 4-day week. My response: “I’m being selfish!” Put simply: 4dww has done wonders not just for 1/ our employees, but also 2/ the company.

Here’s a crazy thought: maybe both are linked Face with open mouth. Ok, so what did you learn?

Learning 1: More days doesn’t mean more done.

  • The opposite is true
  • Less days forces conscious collaboration
  • Meetings must be concise, intentional, impactful
  • 2 days of conscious work > 5 days of unconsciousness work

Learning 2: Focus predicts success

What do high performing teams all have in common? Relentless focus. With 4 days, high focus teams still thrived. For them, nothing really changed.

Learning 3: Creativity is the holy grail

Most workers today are exhausted. The first thing this kills: Creativity. With 4dww, creativity exploded. New ideas, angles and insights to push the business forward.

Learning 4: Everyone’s more present

It’s hard to describe this one, Ultimately, energy is everything, and with 4dww, the difference is undeniable. It literally feels like the team is more ALIVE.

Learning 5: We are happier

Happy people lead to effortless problem solving, more smiles, and more laughs. If 4dww week only made people happier, it’d be worth it Sun with rays Our belief: Work doesn’t have to feel like work.

Overall, I said it last time and I’ll say it again: 4 days isn’t an “if” for most companies, it’s a “when.” At Bolt, we don’t wait to follow. If we believe… we jump! I’m honoured to lead the company this way and am so grateful to have such a supportive team.”

Without a lot more to add I think the thread is pretty much self-explanatory. The conclusion here is that a four-day workweek is better for both the employees and the company’s bottom line.

The question however is whether Ryan’s announcement will spark a global corporate movement towards shorter workweeks.

Ryan seems to think so, speaking to CNBC he likened Bolt’s announcement to Roger Bannister breaking the four-minute mile, a feat many thought impossible until he did it in 1954.

“I think everyone thinks, ‘Oh, there’s no way you can grow fast and execute while working a four-day week,’” he says. “We’re showing just the opposite.”

According to CNBC, about 30 companies in the U.S and Canada have signed up for a six-month trial that will focus on fewer workers for the same pay. Similar pilot programs will be launched in Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

Talking to CNBC, a global pilot program manager at 4 Day Week Global, is quite optimistic.

“2022 will be the year that heralds in this bold new future for work,” he said.

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