The owner of Chick-fil-A wins over his busy employees with only 3 days of work

New York (CNNBusiness) — What shortage of workers? The owner/operator of Chick-fil-A in Miami received a flood of requests after cutting the work week to three days and 14 hours for its employees.

Justin Lindsey was looking for a new way to reward employees who were “literally working 70-hour weeks, week after week,” he recently told QSR magazine.

The popular franchise was profitable and sales were strong, but those results came at the expense of employee burnout. So at the beginning of this year, Lindsey came up with a new recipe for success: reviewing weekly schedules.

He divided his 38 employees – 18 store managers and 20 front-line workers – into two groups and arranged weekly schedules in three-day blocks, with shifts from 1 to 2 p.m.

The result: 100% retention at the management level and a flood of new job candidates. When the Kendall neighborhood restaurant opened this fall, the offer attracted more than 420 applicants.

This restaurant is just another example of companies experimenting with non-traditional shift work since the pandemic changed the 40-hour work week.

Although most companies were reluctant to change, some companies, and even some bosses, called for flexibility as a way to attract and retain workers by offering them a better work-life balance.

In the case of her restaurant, Lindsey said the three-day work week allows her workers to plan ahead for life outside of work.

“I think people want to work in this industry,” Lindsey said in the report. “But they want some things to change, and I think that’s what this showed: There are things that if we change them for the better, we’ll have a lasting effect.” CNN could not reach Lindsey for comment.

A three-day work week is still very uncommon, but buzz around a four-day week is gaining momentum.

In a six-month pilot program in the United Kingdom, 3,300 workers at 70 companies agreed to work 80% of their normal weekly hours in exchange for a promise to maintain 100% productivity. His salary did not change. At the end of this month, the companies will decide whether to keep the program.

A similar test in Iceland was successful. And when Microsoft tested a shorter work week in Japan in 2019, it found that productivity increased by nearly 40%.

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