If you were a Slack ($WORK) employee, you'd probably still be in bed right now. Today is "Slack Friyay," Slack's monthly company holiday designed to give workers time to focus on self-care. "During the current pandemic, Slack have made one Friday a month as a company holiday to allow the employees to use these days to rest, recharge and focus on our well-being," Head of Customer Success Chris Mills wrote in a post on LinkedIn.

There must be something in the coffee. Even with COVID-19, Slack continues to grow. The company's employee headcount has grown 18% since January. Shares were rising three days ago, but stock sunk yesterday. Today, it went up 13 cents to $31.74.

With many Americans working from home through the pandemic, conversations around the four-day week have started again. "A four-day work week might be exactly what the U.S. — and its economy — needs right now," NBC reported last month, citing greater productivity in international colleagues' reduced hours. Microsoft Japan tried the four-day work week and claimed productivity rose by 40% and electricity costs fell by 23%. Finland’s new prime minister, Sanna Marin, said the country wants to experiment with the four-day work week as well. 

According to a 2018 global study by Kronos Incorporated of 3,000 employees across eight countries, 45% of full-time workers say it would take less than five hours a day to do their job if they worked uninterrupted. Three out of four employees would work four days or fewer per week if pay remained the same. 71% of employees said work interferes with their personal life. Slack's glorified summer Friday policy might be a step in the right direction, but it's far from radical. 

Trip Advisor ($TRIP) and publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt ($HMHC) are also adopting pro-worker language, but for ultimately harmful policies. Both companies switched to four-day weeks with pay reductions amidst the pandemic. Their employee headcounts have fallen over the past few months with layoffs and furloughs. Trip Advisor's workforce has shrunk by 7% since February.

Fewer hours for less pay is unsustainable for most workers. That’s why some labor activists are fighting for shorter work weeks and fair, livable wages in the post-pandemic world. Summer "Friyays" won't cut it.

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.

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