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Jess Lee
Jess Lee

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What are your thoughts on the 4-day work week?

Have you ever worked for a company with that schedule? If so, what was it like? If not, is this something you'd be interested in?

Top comments (36)

damnjan profile image
Damnjan Jovanovic

There is already experiments of that kind across some europian countries. So far very successful and promising. I didn't work 4 days schedule myself, but my wife did it after she returned from maternity leave, for half a year. Know many people here who work this schedule in Germany, nobody complains so far. The only unfortunate is 20% less salary, but there is more priceless free time. It would be cool if someone from Scandinavia reply here to give us first-hand experience since they tried with 6hours work days (AWESOME!).

andreirusu_ profile image
Andrei Rusu • Edited

I live in Norway for 5 years and I can confirm that work life balance is phenomenal. I previously worked in Amsterdam for 5.5 years and I used to joke with my colleagues who would schedule a meeting past 4 o’clock that this would be unthinkable in Norway, and for the most part I can say that it is.

dmfay profile image
Dian Fay

I tried working 40-hour weeks as four tens for a while to take Fridays off, but didn't stick with it. I'd love to see more companies adopting shorter workweeks, though. Futurists were predicting for much of the 20th century that advances in automation meant that workers would be able to support ourselves and our families with less and less time on the job, which sounds pretty great from the actual future where we did this instead:

graph showing productivity on an upward trend in the USA from 1940s through the 2000s, while real wages flatline starting in the mid-1970s

dmerand profile image
Donald Merand

Same. I found 4 10-hour days wasn't any better for me. Currently I work an overall 40-ish hour week remotely spread over 7 days at somewhat random hours, and that's actually preferable to 4 10-hour days.

dvddpl profile image
Davide de Paolis

a few years ago i had the opportunity to negotiate a 4 day week. (the employer was happier to give away one day of productive work rather than give me 20% raise - so i managed to keep the same income - which was quite low anyway at that time - but starte working monday to thursday. BEST DECISION EVER. Basically long weekends every week!! and lots of time to study and learn new things.

Unfortunately when i changed company ( and country) i could not get that. but sometime it will be something i will tryto negotiate again

pavlosisaris profile image
Paul Isaris

It really depends on the situation. On the one hand, you surely have more precious time to work on side-projects or freelancing (if you are employed in a company), or just invest in self-improvement, learning, or even an online degree (like Udacity or Coursera).

But on the other hand, some companies may force all their employees to have 4-day workweeks which will result in a significantly smaller house income, even for families with loads, children, etc...

As a relatively young employee with a passion for online learning I say yay, but as a father (not yet) with many financial responsibilites, I can easily imagine myself saying nay.

mercier_remi profile image
Rémi Mercier

As a father myself, I've reached the opposite conclusion. I would readily trade off 20% of my income (and reduce my monthly nut accordingly) with an additional day with my kiddos (or with myself, come to that). 😄

jlabs profile image

My wife and I have done just this. Both reduced to 4 days a week to spend a day (without the other person) a week spending quality time with our little-ish one.
I'd like to say we just bit the bullet and took the 20% reduction, but for us it actually worked out financially better to have the 20% less per week than pay for someone, or somewhere, for our little one to go whilst we worked.

lightalloy profile image
Anna Buianova

I'm not 100% sure if I would like that, regarding lower income. But I think it's worth trying, and it would be nice to work 4-day work week at least occasionally.
I've found out that another approach is becoming more popular: letting employees spend 1 day a week self-learning or doing other activities which are related to work, but are not working on the projects directly. Like investment time at Thoughtbot

j_mplourde profile image
Jean-Michel Plourde

I'd do my work week in 4 days anytime. Three day weekends are underrated. But even tho every company advertise themselves as a startup ala silicon valley, they are still holding to that old out-dated 5 days week.

mercier_remi profile image
Rémi Mercier • Edited

Ah man, those fancy startups that want to change the world but can't even bend their own prejudices. Ugh. 🤷‍♂️

jeikabu profile image

I'm lobbying hard for the 3-day, 30 hour work week. 😎

dylankilkenny profile image
Dylan Kilkenny

This is something i wish i had the opportunity to do

sunnysingh profile image
Sunny Singh

I think a 4-day work week sounds perfect for anyone that is also focusing on side projects, and does not want to burn out when dealing with a 40-hour day job. Especially when that day job is not remote, and you are able to get your work done in much less time.

Personally I have not had the chance or courage to request a 4-day work week, but back when I worked remotely I definitely was able to use my flexibility to work when I was most productive to accomplish my tasks in less time, thus leaving me happier throughout the week.

stefandorresteijn profile image
Stefan Dorresteijn

I put "working more than 4 days a week" on my "fuck it"-list; the list of things I'm never doing again. I don't believe anyone should work more than 4 days a week. More leisure = happier employee = more productivity.

I adopted this way of working at the start of this year and I've never been so productive in the hours I'm actually working, nor have I ever been so relaxed during my leisure time.

diiaablo95 profile image

In my company, a quite big multinational company, but specifically to its office in Finland, there is a concept of flex hour balance. You are supposed to work 40 hours per week. If you get more than that, you start having a positive balance which you can redeem with half or whole days of leave (or other way round if you go below 0 hours). So, assuming there are no meetings scheduled on either Monday or Friday, you can very easily work 10 hours per day, and take one day off to reset your flex balance back to 0. This is my first real job in IT (I'm 24 still working on my M.Sc. thesis), and I have to say that it will be very hard to do any better than this in future. I have travelled three times already since January, the last one for an entire week, without spending a single day of leave. All with my flex balance, and that feels amazing.

munamohamed94 profile image
Muna Mohamed

4-day week would be amazing! I feel like the weekend is rushed and I don't have the time to get as much done as I would like or to enjoy it. I hope this is something that becomes more common place at companies in the near future.

swbsf profile image

Hi there, just to tell you about my 4 days a week schedule. Been doing this for almost 3 years now. Even had the chance to work a 3 days a week for some time. 8 hours a day, always.
My day off is Wednesday. So I never work more than 2 days in a row... yes, 2 days. I see questions about how would people use this spare time, this is non-sense, you'll find easily and could probably handle even more. I spend most of this time taking care of my 2 young daughters. Biggest benefit is obviously tiredness, your chance getting close to a burn-out is almost zero, you'll have a better sleep also. So you are obviously very productive, feeling well, enthusiastic at work.
About the money, I don't earn much, my wife neither. Well, that's a choice you have to make. But, it's probably much easier than you think. This day off is worth it, trust me.
Frankly, I was surprised each time I asked for a shorter week, it has been accepted by my company. If you feel like trying, just ask, you're not taking much risks there, the worst that could happen is a "no".
Not sure it matters, but, before anyone asks : I'm working in France.
I bet the 6h day in Norway feels like this.

martyhimmel profile image
Martin Himmel

When I was a dental tech, the last lab I worked in had a 4 10-hour day schedule. The days were 5:30a-4p, so people still had time in the evenings to do things. And of course, I loved having 3 day weekends.

Three day weekends made weekend trips a lot easier/better, with having Saturday as an entire day on location without worrying about leaving late Friday night to make that happen. Or having to travel both weekend days.

One of the other benefits was having an entire extra day to work on my side projects, which at the time was diving deep into code so I could learn enough to change careers. Having an extra 50 days in that last year was a huge boost for that.

I'd love to have that schedule again.

cookrdan profile image

Well here in Japan there’s a mix of 5 day work weeks, 6 day work weeks, and 7 day work weeks. A 4 day work week would be impossible here. Even on national holidays people go to work. Those who work excessively often do it from their own choice.

I have two jobs and work 6 days a week.

I don’t know if I would go for 4 days and less salary. As a Father that would not be wise. We are working hard to also save for our kids’ future.

From a productivity standpoint I can see that a shorter workday (6 hours) would be great. But again- salary issue for me.

Personally I’d just like to have a long nap after lunch.