An Interview With SEJ CEO, Jenise Uehara


A brand new research by 4 Day Week International explores the feasibility and advantages of a four-day workweek.

The analysis follows 200 firms by year-long pilot packages to guage the impression of decreased hours on productiveness, worker satisfaction, and enterprise efficiency.

The findings counsel adopting a four-day schedule whereas sustaining pay can promote work-life steadiness, enhance well being, and even improve productiveness.

Jenise Uehara, CEO of Search Engine Journal, supplies a singular perspective, sharing her firm’s transition from doubt to success with a four-day week.

Underneath her management, the enterprise noticed elevated gross sales with the identical staffing, demonstrating the potential of a four-day schedule to maintain or enhance outcomes.

Her insights and broader research observations current a compelling case for rethinking conventional schedules favoring a extra balanced, environment friendly, and sustainable method.

About The Examine

Starting final 12 months, 4 Day Week International guided roughly 200 organizations by pilot packages and is working additional quarterly world pilots in 2023.

The method relies on the 100-80-100 mannequin designed by Charlotte Lockhart alongside the Perpetual Guardian trial in 2018.

This mannequin ensures 100% of the pay for 80% of the time in change for a dedication to delivering 100% of the output.

4 Day Week International goals to make a four-day week the brand new default and decreased working time the brand new normal.

A Nearer Look At The Consequence

The six-month trial of a shorter work week resulted in staff working practically 5 fewer hours per week on common in comparison with the baseline of 38 hours.

By the tip of the trial, the common work week had declined to simply underneath 33 hours. Staff reported optimistic experiences in the course of the shortened work weeks, ranking their satisfaction a 9 out of 10 after the trial ended.

Over the 12-month research interval, staff famous enhancements of their self-assessed bodily and psychological well being. They attributed these positive factors to an enhanced work-life steadiness enabled by the decreased hours.

In line with lead researcher Professor Juliet Schor of Boston Faculty, the continued discount in hours didn’t come at the price of elevated work depth.

As a substitute, she notes, “folks operated extra effectively and continued to enhance these capabilities because the 12 months progressed.”

Spectacular Outcomes Throughout The Board

The research checked out 41 firms within the US and Canada that examined out a four-day workweek for six months. The suggestions on the trial was exceptionally optimistic.

Not one of the firms plan to return to requiring staff to work 5 days every week.

On a scale of 1 to 10, the businesses rated the general expertise an 8.7. They have been proud of enterprise productiveness, efficiency, and the brand new capacity to herald proficient staff.

All through the pilot program, common income went up by 15%.

Staff had related optimistic experiences in the course of the four-day workweek trial. An awesome 95% of staff needed to proceed with the shortened week after the trial ended.

Moreover, 69% mentioned they felt much less burned out, and 40% reported decreased stress ranges.

Additional, 42% of employees engaged in additional environmentally acutely aware behaviors in the course of the trial, like recycling, buying eco-friendly merchandise, and selecting to stroll or bike as an alternative of driving.

Search Engine Journal CEO Displays On Success Of 4-Day WorkWeek

When Search Engine Journal shifted to a four-day work week final 12 months, Uehara admitted she had reservations.

Nevertheless, the shortened schedule exceeded expectations, bettering worker satisfaction and boosting income.

The four-day schedule was applied after intensive analysis and planning by employees. A committee of staff studied finest practices for sustaining productiveness whereas assessing workflow and time administration.

Their efforts paid off. The corporate has seen a 22% enhance in gross sales in comparison with the earlier 12 months, whereas headcount has remained regular.

Uehara states:

“I’m glad to report that right this moment, we’re reaping the rewards. Gross sales have elevated 22% this 12 months, in comparison with the identical interval in 2022.”

Uehara credit improved productiveness and streamlined work practices, enabling the identical employees to tackle elevated demand.

“Now we have fulfilled the demand enhance with little issue however roughly the identical headcount. In 2022, once we had a 5-day week, this enhance would have damaged us.”

In an interview, we delve into how she saved productiveness up whereas adopting a four-day workweek, the impression on work-life steadiness, and her recommendation to different firms.

Maintaining Productiveness Up

Uehara highlighted two vital methods in addressing the problem of sustaining productiveness regardless of the shortened work time.

First, the group experimented with varied productiveness instruments like Google Suite, Slack, Asana, and Loom movies.

“We adopted those we favored and constructed them into our accepted and inspired work practices. Instruments like scheduled focus time, asynchronous communication through Google Suite, Slack, Asana, and Loom movies instead of reside conferences or huddles.”

The second technique concerned self-reflection to handle management, energy, and perfectionism points.

She explains:

“Hoarding energy and management is exhausting, time-consuming, and causes disengagement together with your group members. Perfectionism shouldn’t be the identical as excellence; it’s a masks for management and results in burnout.

I’m so fortunate to have a group prepared to get introspective and experiment with letting go of management, pushing authority and empowerment downwards and outwards. Letting go in the best method offers you extra time to do extra productive issues.”

Easing Purchasers’ Considerations

Initially, purchasers weren’t knowledgeable of the schedule change to keep away from issues.

She explains:

“Our advertisers had zero issues as a result of we made the choice to not inform them beforehand! Our aim was to seamlessly keep our excessive requirements for sponsor success as we transitioned.

It was a little bit of a big gamble, I admit. However we made it work, and our purchasers remained proud of the extent of service we continued to offer on a 4 day week program.”

Modifications In Work-Life Stability

For the Uehara personally, the shortened week has improved work-life steadiness.

She needed to re-evaluate her work strategies, transition from multi-tasking to a extra prioritized method, and implement modifications to how she performed conferences.

“Together with everybody else right here, I needed to take a crucial eye on how I used to be spending my time. I noticed that whereas my firm had grown, my work strategies had not scaled.

I used to be multi-tasking continually, responding to each advert hoc request or message in actual time. This labored okay once we have been a small group of oldtimers however not a lot in a group of 34.

Once I found that interruptions are one of many prime killers of productiveness, I knew I wanted to make modifications.”

Utilizing Time Extra Effectively

Uehara outlines the modifications she made to make use of her time extra effectively:

“As we speak, I take a prioritized method to my inbox. I’ve requested that each one requests go into our mission administration platform so I can hold observe of them. I work off a listing of to-dos every day. Taming the urge to handle each notification or ask has made me extra conscious of my group, not much less.”

Moreover, Uehara grew to become extra aware of how she scheduled her group’s time:

“I checked out how I confirmed up for conferences. I known as conferences with minimal or no agendas communicated beforehand, saying we’d determine it out in actual time.

Once I began to note that we have been losing the primary a part of the assembly defining why we have been there, I knew I needed to make a change. This grew to become particularly obvious with group members in 5 time zones and now, a 4 day week.

As we speak, I take a aware method to each assembly: if I’m the organizer, I put lots of effort into choosing solely must-have attendees, documenting “what success appears like” agendas, and conserving the assembly scope tight and on matter.

that second on the finish of the day once you take a fast psychological survey of what you completed? And the way nice it feels when you may look again and say to your self, “I acquired loads performed right this moment.” I’ve much more of these days in a 4-day week.”

Advantages Of Fridays Off

Talking in regards to the results of the brand new schedule on her life, she mentioned:

“So far as the ‘life’ a part of the steadiness, I really feel nice about that, too. I can do enjoyable issues or run errands on Fridays, and it feels nice to know I nonetheless have the weekend, too.

Having mentioned that, I nonetheless work right here and there on off-days or off-hours. However I did that with a five-day week, too; the distinction is that the work I’m doing is increased high quality and extra aware due to the shift in mindset and the way we work as an organization.”


When requested in regards to the long-term prospects of sticking to the four-day schedule, the Uehara is optimistic, stating:

“So long as we’re in a position to keep productiveness ranges, I’m very optimistic that we’ll proceed to make it work.”

Recommendation To Different Corporations

For different firms contemplating a four-day week, Uehara advises involving employees early within the exploration course of and permitting them to steer by implementation.

She additionally emphasizes setting a program aim and measuring success towards that aim.

In her phrases:

“I believe it’s completely crucial to ask your employees into the exploration course of early and allow them to lead during implementation.

Your front-line people know what it is going to take to make this work. They should educate themselves on finest practices to allow them to give suggestions and suggestions after which assist with the implementation. We couldn’t have performed this with out our staff-led 4DW committee.”

Measuring Success

On measuring the success of a four-day workweek initiative, Uehara recommends the next:

“I extremely advocate setting a program aim and measuring success all through that aim. For us, it was sustaining the 100/80/100 rule: “100% of the productiveness and the pay, in 80% of the time”.

It’s simple to get misplaced within the weeds often with an unconventional shift like this. Most individuals would not have expertise with a four-day week, and it’s not as simple as simply closing the workplace on Fridays. You’ll must remind your folks periodically why you’re doing this, and also you want a yardstick to measure whether or not this system is working or not.”

In Abstract

Whereas extra analysis is required, this research exhibits that transitioning to a four-day workweek can profit staff and companies.

Corporations contemplating this modification ought to totally analyze their operations and workforce wants to find out if such a schedule is possible.

If adopted, management should handle the transition rigorously whereas monitoring productiveness and morale.

With correct planning and execution, the four-day week presents a promising roadmap to a extra sustainable future of labor.

Featured Picture: Dmitry Demidovich/Shutterstock

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