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Four-day work week? More Americans are saying, 'yes, please'

Research has shown 78% of employees with a shorter week are happier and less stressed. And 63% of businesses find it easier to attract and retain talent.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California lawmakers are considering a bill to make the standard work week 32 hours instead of 40 hours. If it becomes law, it will apply to workers in companies with 500 or more employees. 

At the same time, there is a global push to have more companies adopt a shorter work week.

Patton Hindle works from home as the Head of Arts for Kickstarter, a crowdfunding site that helps new businesses raise money. Now, the company is starting its own new project, changing its employee work week from five days to just four. 

"Across the board, we're seeing within the company that people are very happy," Hindle said.

She says working 32 hours a week and having an extra day off gives her more quality time with her stepson. 

"Instead of me coming back here and sitting down and working, I was able to actually come back, watch a movie, spend time with him and, like, give him the attention and love that he really wanted."

Kickstarter is part of a pilot program with dozens of other companies testing this new model for six months. Joe O'Connor is CEO of 4 Day Week Global, which is running the program. Their research has shown 78% of employees with a shorter week are happier and less stressed. And 63% of businesses find it easier to attract and retain talent.

"It's had an enormous transformative impact on people's lives in terms of improved well-being, improved work-life balance, reduced stress and reduced burnout," O'Connor explained.

A Denver company that adopted a four-day work week saw productivity stay the same, and that's what leaders at Kickstarter are expecting. 

"People think that productivity is a function of just hours worked and it really isn't. It matters how focused people are, how engaged they are at work," says Kickstarter Chief Strategy Officer Jon Leland.

When asked if she wants to go back to the five-day work week or have the four-day work week stick around, Patton says, "We definitely want it to stay around."

Hindle is far from alone. In a survey from Qualtronics, 92% of workers support the idea of moving to a four-day work week.

In Iceland, most employees have a four-day work week. Last month, Belgium announced workers can opt to work four 10-hour days.

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