Guest Written by Tiffany McAdams.

Despite its obvious benefits, investing in employees only recently became a typical part of the average company’s strategy for maximizing the bottom line. This investment usually comes in the form of employee benefits, like medical insurance and a 401k plan. However, research has recently become public that even this may not be enough to maintain optimal productivity.

Another standard in our American workplace is the idea of the 40-hour workweek. Many companies push that number even higher, resulting in high levels of employee chronic fatigue and exhaustion. While it may seem obvious that overworking employees will result in substantial loss of productivity and quality, it has become a persistent problem in our culture. Tragically, it only gets worse as time goes on and the fatigue gradually increases.

Evidence recently began piling up to indicate that even our typical 40-hour workweek contributes to chronic fatigue. Well-rested employees not only produce faster, they also do so more efficiently, generating higher quality work in less time.

Companies that have begun to implement this surprising 3-day weekend policy have seen marked improvement in employee productivity, creativity, and overall satisfaction in their jobs. This results in fewer callouts, higher rates of retention, and fewer complaints. Best of all, the practice shows an increase in hourly productivity so significant that employees quickly begin to produce more in 32 hours than in the usual 40.

Nearly any company can benefit from this unusual approach, and the data shows the benefits at the corporate level can vastly impact overall profit margins. As with any good investment, the initial amount of time and money necessary to implement this practice pays off in substantial, quantifiable ways. Maximizing production per hour could involve something as simple as trimming down the workweek.

The research to support this practice can be found here. Take the opportunity and make sure you’re not missing a simple and effective way to increase productivity in your workplace.

Written by Tiffany McAdams, InvestmentZen