Published on Wed Nov 17 2021

How a 4-day Work Week affects Agile Software Development Teams

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Context: Agile software development (ASD) sets social aspects like communication and collaboration in focus. Thus, one may assume that the specific work organization of companies impacts the work of ASD teams. A major change in work organization is the switch to a 4-day work week, which some companies investigated in experiments. Also, recent studies show that ASD teams are affected by the switch to remote work since the Covid 19 pandemic outbreak in 2020. Objective: Our study presents empirical findings on the effects on ASD teams operating remote in a 4-day work week organization. Method: We performed a qualitative single case study and conducted seven semi-structured interviews, observed 14 agile practices and screened eight project documents and protocols of agile practices. Results: We found, that the teams adapted the agile method in use due to the change to a 4-day work week environment and the switch to remote work. The productivity of the two ASD teams did not decrease. Although the stress level of the ASD team member increased due to the 4-day work week, we found that the job satisfaction of the individual ASD team members is affected positively. Finally, we point to affects on social facets of the ASD teams. Conclusions: The research community benefits from our results as the current state of research dealing with the effects of a 4-day work week on ASD teams is limited. Also, our findings provide several practical implications for ASD teams working remote in a 4-day work week.