Who wants a 4-day work week?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

For potential fans of a 4-day work week a big study just dropped- but realistically what does it tell us?

Sky News covered it as a “Major Breakthrough”, but was it? The bbc went with the more mundane observation that most firms were planning to continue the pilot.

A few thoughts:

Must have been a lot of self selection of firms wanting to be part of this. So is the main takeaway that if you really really want to make a 4-day week work, you probably can?

Fine, but falls a little short of answering deeper questions on the “right” structure of the workweek in modern world (admittedly, that’s a tough question!) Must admit I like the insight that maybe some meetings exist just to fill out a 5 day workweek. Could def be true.

With enough buy-in maybe you can totally reimagine the workweek. The well-being benefits seem pretty real. And there’s enough practical insights in here to help companies along the way if they are thinking about it.

Could it help productivity though? a few potential answers in here: lower employee turnover lower sickness greater wellbeing less unnecessary meeting bloat **could** all be potential productivity wins but will they be in practice – and how can you measure that?

But what does a 4-day week actually mean? This is one area where the study seems really valuable at least 5 diff models you can follow. One is fixed day off , another is annual averaging + others. But hours worked “only” fell from 38 to 34 so not even a 20% reduction …

Company size! workplace norms are easier to shift in a small biz is going to be tougher to institutionalise the larger you are – the study referenced was mainly v small firms (66% less than 25 ppl ) although they did have one firm of 1000 people

I would have loved to see some type of control group / comparison of peer firms not in the trial group. Thoughts?

Here’s the link to the full report: https://t.co/T5oAVQXZwY

This podcast is an excellent listen on the subject of 4 day week … It seems like the 5 (as opposed to 6) day week is a vestige of the industrial age 100 years ago . So makes sense it’s due a refresh but

Very interested in the idea that the concept of the “4 day week “ is inherently a male concept , which ignores reality that caring responsibilities wrap around all

I’m wondering if “4 day week” is really just a helpful catch-all now for creative reimagining / re-org of work to allow better wellbeing and probably save a few hours with a fairly sensible set of re-organisating actions that better reflect today’s working world. Seems likely that a few hours could be shaved off the work week this way with no great loss.

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