📅 4 days = the new workweek

Ever work for a jerk? We want to know if you’ve ever quit a job over a boss’s behavior. Tell us about it here.

Today’s rundown:

  • 4 day workweek: Some tech companies are making it a thing.
  • Condom conundrum: The world is using fewer than expected.
  • Wage study: Many underestimate what they could make elsewhere.
  • Around the web: FBI rabbit holes, faster browsers, and more cool internet finds.

Let’s do it.


4-day workweeks are the new trend taking over tech.

In 1908, a New England cotton mill instituted a 5-day workweek.

The move inspired others to follow suit over the next 30 years until the Fair Labor Standards Act made 2-day weekends official in 1938.

Now, over a century later, some tech companies are shaving another day off the workweek, per Inc.

Bolt, a hot new ecommerce startup…

… just made its 4-day workweek permanent after a 3-month trial. In a companywide survey following the trial, Bolt employees noted several benefits to the new schedule:

  • 84% said they were more productive
  • 86% said they were more efficient with their time
  • 84% saw improvement in their work-life balance

While many have been quick to praise the move as a generous perk for Bolt employees, CEO Ryan Breslow says the move is selfish — citing improved productivity across the board.

He’s also quick to mention that not all companies are suited for the shift. Bolt makes a point to measure worker impact, which will help sniff out any decreases in productivity over time.

Bolt isn’t the first place to see positive results

Iceland’s national government trialed a 4-day workweek between 2015-2019, and found worker productivity either remained the same or improved.

Even in Japan — where workaholism is so common there’s a word for overworking oneself to death, “kiroshi” — companies like Panasonic are letting employees opt in to the 4-day schedule.

As for which day?

Bolt went with Fridays, with most employees working Monday to Thursday to ensure no one feels like they’re missing anything on their day off.

The Wanderlust Group, a startup that builds software for outdoor activities like boating and camping, also follows a 4-day workweek, but decided to give employees Mondays off.

Sounds like a pretty effective cure for a case of the Mondays.

Read more: The Hustle’s Mark Dent went deep on “Time vs. Task,” and the most effective way to measure work.


Rising debt: 1 in every 3 Americans said they took on debt to buy presents over the holidays, with an average amount owed of $1,249. #ECOMMERCE-RETAIL

Next-level tractors: John Deere announced it will sell its new self-driving tractors to farmers as a subscription service. #EMERGING-TECH

Penguin problems: The founders of Pudgy Penguins, a popular NFT community, were voted out by its members over disagreements on the future vision of the community. #FINTECH-CRYPTO

No Apple-verse: An insider report claimed Apple’s coming VR headset is not an “all-day device” and that the company has no metaverse ambitions. #BIG-TECH

MFM: Sam and Shaan discuss genetic testing, and how a serial killer was caught using 23andMe. #MFM

Tweet: Trung Phan shows why one week in 2007 had a massive impact on where people spend time on the internet. #HUSTLE-PICKS

condom sales

The world is using fewer condoms than expected

You might not know of Karex, but a lot of people use its products.

The Malaysian company is responsible for producing 20% of the world’s condoms, and it exports 5B condoms each year.

Karex stock has been in a long, slow decline since 2016, but at the start of the pandemic, hopes were high that the trend would reverse with everyone bored at home.

Yet its stock is currently down ~60% from its 2020 high. Why?

Partially because condom use hasn’t spiked on a net basis, as hotels and clinics have closed and some governments halted condom handouts.

The company is now pivoting to medical glove-making, which seems reasonable given the state of the world.


Study: Workers don’t know they’re underpaid

If you had to guess, what do you think your co-worker makes? How about someone in your same field, but at a different company?

A new study from MIT, UC Berkeley, the University of Cologne, and the London School of Economics suggests that many people underestimate their colleagues’ incomes.

The study examined workers in Germany

It asked 516 part- and full-time workers in 2019 and 2020 how much they think they’d make if they had to find a new job in the same occupation within 3 months.

Most people believed they’d make about the same. The truth? They were actually underestimating others’ wages and their occupation’s median salary.

This is especially prevalent among employees in low-paying jobs

And these incorrect beliefs tend to keep workers from looking elsewhere while accepting lower wages.

The study claims that if workers knew the truth, 10% to 17% of jobs would no longer be viable without a pay hike.

How does this relate to the Great Resignation in the US?

Business Insider spoke with Nick Bunker, Indeed’s economic research director.

He said that while the German and US economies are similar, the countries handled the pandemic differently.

Germany subsidized payrolls, allowing workers to remain where they were, while many US workers lost their jobs and turned to unemployment.

This, coupled with companies advertising increasingly higher wages to court workers, could have motivated job changes.

Btw: Though it may feel taboo, you are most likely within your rights to discuss wages with your co-workers, per the National Labor Relations Act.


Trends you’ve been missing out on:

  • Air conditioning is heating up. We do love a boring business that’s winning big. Interest in AC in the US doubled last summer and shows no sign of slowing down soon. Summer rush, incoming.
  • Neurodiversity is the new normal. Because a different brain isn’t a bad thing. Entrepreneurs and businesses are opting for inclusive advertising and celebrating differences. Hip-hip hooray!
  • People adore their rare collectibles. Today, we mean the fungible kind. You know a chicken nugget sold for $100k last year, right? We sifted for niches that are extremely promising in 2022.

We dive deeper in the article. And churn out reports like this on the regs.

Get them delivered fresh every week.


💉 On this day: In 1922, a 14-year-old boy became the 1st person to receive insulin as a treatment for diabetes.

🐇 Useful: If you feel like falling into a rabbit hole, the FBI’s FOIA Library includes a variety of files that you can freely browse, like this one on Colonel Sanders.

💻 How to: Here’s how to speed up your browser experience using bookmarks, shortcuts, and other strategies.

🚪 That’s interesting: This article from 2014 feels even more relevant in the work-from-home world. It discusses how privacy — not open-format offices or monitoring — increases employees’ productivity.

🧠 Cure boredom: Sad that you can only play Wordle once a day? Here’s a trove of wordplay games and facts.

🐍 Aww: And now, a tiny snake says hello.

workweek meme

The difference is real. (Source: Twitter)

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