How CleverControl Helped to Implement a Healthier Work Model

A French consulting company ventured into the experiment to implement a four-day workweek and decrease the weekly labour hours to 35. They hypothesised that such a work model would improve employees' health and life satisfaction, which in turn would boost their performance.

However, they had reasonable concerns regarding employees' productivity: shorter work weeks would likely mean less work would be done. Or the employees would start overworking for the rest of the week, which would cancel the positive psychological effect of an extra day off. That was not in the company's best interests, so the executives needed an effective tool to track employees' productivity and work time during the experiment.

The company reached CleverControl as our solution offered activity statistics, detailed activity logs and the functionality to monitor the work process in real time. Everything that could help reveal and fix any bottlenecks that might occur.

To objectively evaluate the effect of a four-day workweek on employees' productivity, the company implemented CleverControl two months before the estimated transition date. The data collected during that period would serve as a marker for the after-transition performance.

The first four-day workweeks confirmed the company's initial theory. Statistics gathered by CleverControl indicated a general 40% drop in social media usage and a 12% drop in idle time in the workplace. Entertainment websites like Youtube, Dailymotion or Voici almost disappeared from the logs of several employees who had frequented them before the experiment. A staff survey showed that they perceived shorter work hours as motivation. It inspired them to spend less time on distractions and be more efficient if it meant an additional day off.

Over the course of the next month, employees' social media usage increased by 7% on indicators of the first weeks but still was significantly lower than the pre-transition figures. Continuous monitoring showed no further increase in social media usage.

Of course, there were employees who had a hard time getting accustomed to the new schedule. For example, according to the pre-experiment monitoring data, one of the employees could focus on work only after lunch almost every day. Recently he began suffering from a lack of sleep. Occasional checks on his computer with Live Viewing showed that he was missing from his workplace in the mornings. He was fighting the fog in his head caused by poor sleep with countless cups of coffee in the office cafeteria. With a five-day workweek, he managed to maintain a more or less decent productivity level and meet most of the deadlines, but shorter labour hours hit his performance hard. After discussing his results with HR, the employee was offered a more flexible schedule with a later start. It helped to improve his productivity gradually.

As the executives anticipated, other employees started overworking. CleverControl's active time statistics showed that they stayed one or two hours after the day was over out of fear they wouldn't be able to finish their work on time. However, in a few months, that problem fixed itself, as the employees began to understand how to split time better. Long hours almost came to nought.

Analyzing statistics gathered by CleverControl and other indicators, the company came to the conclusion that the transition to the four-day workweek did not cause a performance drop. Moreover, in some cases, it inspired more productivity because more free time served as a strong motivating factor and allowed more quality rest. Drawing the line, the company considered the experiment successful and implemented the short workweek on the regular basis.

Essential Features:

  • User statistics
    Social media usage, active and idle time dynamics and other metrics allowed the company to evaluate the effect of the short workweek on staff performance.
  • Live Viewing
    Randomly checking what any employee did at any moment allowed the management to ensure the employees stayed productive.
  • Activity statistics
    CleverControl captures the time when the employee started and stopped working. That allowed the company to find overworking staff.