Welcome to the 4-day week!

Written by Luc Bretones, on 21 December 2021


As we struggle to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, states and businesses are conducting various experiments to enhance organizational performance and prepare for the future. Some are structurally diversifying their boards of directors to make them more inclusive, while others are adopting hybrid work models to align with new ways of working.

Welcome to the Jungle, a French gem, has decided to focus on working hours to make its organization more efficient and better suited to the desired pace of its employees. Could the four-day workweek become the norm for the next-generation company?

Post-COVID-19, companies have realized that the well-being of teams is a key factor for success when it plays a central role in HR strategies. Many are adopting and perpetuating the hybridization of the workplace tested and approved during the pandemic.

The more adventurous companies are exploring the reduction of working hours, raising eyebrows among skeptics. Despite initial skepticism, the four-day workweek, tested worldwide from Japan to Iceland and Spain, is emerging as a new ideal, gaining momentum as a global movement.

Welcome to the Jungle, co-founded by Jérémy Clédat and Bertrand Uzeel, is a pioneer in this matter in France. As a platform that innovatively approaches recruitment in the job market, it also serves as a cross-media outlet exploring managerial innovations in the business and startup world.

In 2019, Welcome to the Jungle experimented with a four-day workweek for five months. Following this trial period, the change in the weekly rhythm, with maintained salaries, became a permanent feature of the company.

The implementation of this measure was closely monitored by a team of researchers, not only to justify its economic viability to the company's shareholders but also to understand its impact on the well-being and personal balance of employees.

Welcome to the Jungle's example is emblematic: the four-day workweek has become an integral part of the company and a pillar of its managerial innovation. Jérémy Clédat states unequivocally:

The positive impacts are enormous! - Jérémy Clédat

How was the implementation orchestrated?

Employees retain their salaries and enjoy three days off per week. This can be concretely translated into two ways, in accordance with labor laws:

  • A reduction in the number of weekly working hours (30 to 34 hours) with the maintenance of 8-hour workdays (the option chosen by Welcome to the Jungle).


  • An increase in daily working hours: all hours to be worked (39 or 35 hours in France) are spread over four days instead of five. Employees thus work up to 10 hours a day, four days a week.

The conclusive study published by the company, prepared by the aforementioned team of researchers, establishes a strong correlation between the personal feeling of controlling one's time and self-esteem. Welcome to the Jungle's founders openly acknowledge that this is one of the main reasons motivating the shift to the four-day workweek.

However, flexibility and adherence to certain rules are crucial to avoid disrupting the company. For example, the day off is either Wednesday or Friday and must be consistently followed. Occasionally, the day off can be changed, but rules such as "an entire team cannot be absent on the same day" must be respected. Moreover, the time constraint necessitates a reflection on the value of time spent on each action and requires more radical decision-making.

Employees then focus on tasks that are important, interesting, and meaningful. The number of meetings has been reduced by 30%, demonstrating the redundancy of some of them. Additionally, workdays have become more intense without necessarily extending in duration, and breaks have shortened. At the end of this large-scale trial, employees reported spending an average of 1 hour and 30 minutes on work during their day off, without expressing particular dissatisfaction. There was no major upheaval in work practices, and those who were previously "connected" on days off maintained this habit.

For the majority of Welcome to the Jungle teams, productivity levels remain equal to those observed in a five-day workweek. Employees have simply become more disciplined and prioritize tasks more effectively. The four-day workweek brings greater clarity to the work each employee is responsible for, eliminating the correlation between time spent working and performance and rendering presenteeism outdated. The 20% reduction in working hours did not lead to a 20% drop in performance across different teams.

However, it's interesting to note that disparities exist among individuals and teams in adapting to this new norm. Some adapted more easily to the new rhythm, as seen with the "tech" team finding its rhythm within two months, while the sales team took four months to reach its cruising speed. The lack of time did impact the detection of new potential clients, prompting a reorganization of the sales and marketing department.

Despite this, the sales team eventually regained its initial performance level by focusing exclusively on high-value projects.

The optimization of time within the framework of the four-day workweek and the evolution of key performance indicators have allowed Welcome to the Jungle to revise its organizational structure.

As the pandemic revealed the potential success promised by company HR policies coupled with public policies focused on worker well-being, a global trend is emerging in favor of the four-day workweek, in which Welcome to the Jungle fully participates. This wave is poised to sweep the shores of the new generation of companies in the coming years.