Adopting the 4-Day Working Week

Times change. What may work in the past, may not necessarily work in the modern day. With changes to technology, culture, environmental conditions, and society as a whole; we need to embrace that we can adapt traditions to better fit how we live our lives today. At imployable, we did just that, and are currently reaping the benefits from it. This was the choice to drop the 5-day working week, in favour of 4. 

The past half decade has seen quite a bit of discussion around this topic. To say it’s polarising would be underselling it. However, seeing countries such as Iceland trailing it and reporting its success, curiosity was gripping us. For us, it made a lot of sense. By having more time to ourselves, we would start each week with much more energy and happiness. We could create long lasting memories with loved ones and have one less day to try and fit our personal duties around our work. 

Making the Switch:

It was 4 years ago now that we made the switch, and we haven’t looked back. Of course, complications arose with the spread of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown of our country. However, we still wanted to carry on with the 4-day week once our workforce came back from furlough. We made the decision to cut the hours from 37.5 down to 34 hours, with staff working 8.5hour days (9 hours if you include lunch!), giving staff 23 days leave.  

Since adopting this new working week, many companies in the UK trailed this new way of working. The vast majority have found this more beneficial than using the typical week. According to this experiment productivity increased by 22%, job applications were up 88%, absenteeism decreased by 66%, and 92% of companies said they would continue with the four-day week permanently. Clearly this has worked for other companies as well! 

The Results of the 4-Day Week

Now our office is improving the welfare of our staff and of those around them. Some of our colleagues are spending quality time with their children and family. Others are working on their own personal projects. But regardless of what we choose to do with this extra day, it’s influencing our efficiency within the office. People don’t dread Mondays anymore, they embrace them. 

Addressing Challenges

It wasn’t without teething problems, though. Originally, we wanted to make sure there were some people working in each department for all five working days. Swapping Monday’s off and Friday’s off. However, although it was nice occasionally having 4-day weekends, if a task would have a tight deadline, the 4-day weekend would sometimes be a hindrance more than anything. So, we concluded that we would all take Fridays off. Figuring out these issues and finding solutions, has meant we’re able to carry on with the 4-day week and enjoy the benefits. Plus, we realised many other companies have adopted the 4-day week which means they have Fridays off, and if they don’t, we find a lot of companies have a ‘half-day’ on Fridays! 

Now, we’re more than aware that we’re a small team, who are all based in an office. So, implementing a 4-day working week has been relatively simple, compared to a large organisation, or one that works off contracts. But this blog isn’t meant to convince you to swap to a 4-day week, rather we just wanted to write about our experience with it, as a company that has implemented it and still use it to this day. We’re glad to see many other companies trialling it and finding success. We hope that this will become the norm is the not-so-distant future. 

If you want to chat to us about our 4-day week, please get in touch 


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