4-Day Working Week

Can you achieve everything in just 32 hours?

One of the most controversial topics in our CEO Masterclass is the 4-Day Working Week. This is the challenge for CEOs and leaders to be just as productive as before but to limit their week to just 4 days - no exceptions!

Why opt for just 4 days? Wouldn’t you get more done in 5?

Leaders are operate under very high stress and often let the seemingly endless list of tasks weigh them down. This frequently leads to burnout, which can take out a CEO for weeks, and sees them get stuck in old ways of doing things without taking inspiration from the things they love.

The benefit of having that one extra day off is overwhelming. Leaders return each week recharged, full of ideas and perspective, and exude inspiration for their team.

“Your company should implement the 4-day working week”

We are often met with stars of disbelief when we recommend the 4-Day Working Week. There are benefits to health and gaining a wider perspective on company problems, but what about the practical considerations?

Actually, we find that when people limit their work to just 4 Days, they get really creative about how they use their time and prioritise their work. People don’t procrastinate so much when they know there’s less time in which to do it; they focus and find ways to enhance that focus; they delegate more and micromanage less.

The biggest benefit is getting to spend more time with family and friends, redressing the work-life balance which we all find difficult to juggle.

“Significant results and higher productivity”

New Zealand-based company Perpetual Guardian recently implemented the 4-Day Working Week involving almost 250 employees across 16 offices. Their success was startling.

After trialling the 4-Day Working Week, stress levels amongst staff fell by 7% and 78% of staff said they were better equipped to manage work-life balance in comparison to only 54% pre-trial.

Employees were reported as having increased empowerment and productivity. For example, it was noted that workers had shorter and more focused meetings, combined meal breaks with work tasks and disposed of non-work related internet use. Staff were able to innovate in getting as much done in less time and were motivated by the extra day of rest during their working week.

It isn’t just Perpetual Garden that has had success with the 4 Day Working Week. IVF company Access Fertility switched their working week in September 2017 and has been overjoyed with the impact.

Tash Walker, founder of  London based The Mix, adopted the 4 Day Working Week after feeling “emotionally drained” by her former work-life balance. Implementing a 32 hour week resulted in a 57% increase in the company’s turnover and a 75% reduction sick days amongst her 20 staff.

The Mix works with Nestlé, Smirnoff Vodka and Nescafé Azera, and has seen its client list double since implementing the 4 Day-Working Week.

Andrew Barnes, CEO of Perpetual Guardian, believes that “employees have to be empowered to find new ways to do their work”.  This is something we strongly support in our CEO Masterclass.

Barnes also notes that we have been “conditioned” to think that we have to spend 5 days a week in the office, but just like the case studies we have seen here, empowering employees can lead to significant results in the company and higher productivity.

Get started:
your 4-DAy Working Week challenge

It amazes CEOs when I tell them they should be working at 80% of their capacity, but I remind them that the position is a marathon and not a sprint. It is a long term role spread across many years, in which CEOs should be pacing themselves to be really effective.

So my challenge to CEOs is to work 8 hours a day for 4 days: a total of 32 hours.

Fit your work into 4 days - get creative with your time and your priorities - and make sure you’re pursuing your passions, seeing your family family and cultivating a healthy personal life.

The 4-Day Working Week is becoming increasingly adopted by companies. Now it’s time for you to try the 4-Day Working Week. Plan ahead how you will fit your work into only 4 days and try to stick to it for weeks and months.

Our CEO Masterclass is jam packed with ideas on how to become a successful and inspiring CEO. Learn more here.

Stacey Williams