U.S. Company Moved to a 4-Day Workweek — and Says Avoiding 'Work Theater' Improved Productivity

“I couldn’t imagine running a company any other way,” says Bolt founder and CEO Ryan Breslow

Ryan Breslow Bolt
Bolt founder and CEO Ryan Breslow. Photo: Bolt

After testing out a four-day workweek for several months, San Francisco-based fintech startup Bolt decided to make a permanent switch.

Founder and CEO Ryan Breslow announced the news earlier this month, citing an increase in productivity, engagement and wellness for employees.

After the end of the company's three-month trial of the program, which kicked off in September, Breslow said they surveyed the entire team, who felt overwhelmingly positive about the experiment.

The survey found that 94% of workers were in favor of continuing with the four-day workweek, with 84% saying they felt more productive at work, according to Breslow's Twitter post. Additionally, 84% of employees said they felt their work-life balance had improved.

"We're never going back," Breslow wrote on Twitter.

Opening up about the decision, Beslow explained that the shortened schedule is all about working more efficiently — which means cutting down on things like unnecessary meetings.

"A lot of companies operate with a lot of work theater, which is people caring more about the appearance of working than the actual work," Breslow told CNBC in an interview.

"So you have countless meetings, countless documents, countless presentations," he continued. "It's impossible to sift through the noise and get to the heart of the matter."

Although making the transition wasn't easy, the results have been more than worth it.

"I couldn't imagine running a company any other way," Breslow remarked, per CNBC.

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Speaking with Fast Company, the CEO emphasized that the four-day schedule gives employees more freedom to make choices about how to spend their time.

"With the time you now have, if you think like a founder, you might want to go to a conference. You might want to work on personal development. You might want to spend time with your family," he said.

Bolt is also confident that while they may be one of the first U.S. companies to adopt a shortened work schedule, they won't be the last.

"I believe a 4 day work week isn't an 'if' for most companies, it's a 'when,' " Breslow wrote on Twitter back in September, when Bolt began their four-day workweek trial.

"In true Bolt spirit, we didn't wait around to follow others - we put our money where our mouth is," he added.

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