We've chosen to share the feedback from our four-day work week in the hope it will help more organisations discover new ways to improve the health and wellbeing of their employees. You can read the blog post on our experiences here!
1. How have you found the experience of working a four-day work week?
Very Positive 67%
Very Negative 0%
2. When did you feel most productive during your work week?
Start of the week 40%
Middle of the week 20%
End of the week 40%
3. What day of the week would you prefer to have off?
Helen: Friday –
Productivity is at its highest at the beginning of the week. By Friday most tasks are complete and ready for some down time. Plus, you get that Friday feeling!
Stuart: Monday or Friday –
It Would mean had a long weekend to go and so something
Fraser: Monday –
Being so used to a weekend being Saturday and Sunday, getting to Sunday evening and knowing that you’re off the next day is a silent sigh of relief. The weekends (Saturday & Sunday) can often be so hectic, or at least I find that I seem make mine jammed full of activities, food, household tasks and events with friends and family, so having the Monday as a day dedicated to rest, and at a slower pace as the majority of the world works around you is simply bliss.
Laura: Monday –
I feel as though starting on a Tuesday gives me enough time to complete tasks and orders ready to be collected on a Friday. I feel having a Monday off gives me a long weekend to be able to unwind and prepare myself for the week ahead.
Claire: Friday –
It feels like you’re having more of a long weekend off and the kids finish school earlier on a Friday.
Aisha: Monday –
It’s definitely hard to squeeze in everything you want to do at the weekend, and I always feel like the two days fly by, which is why I feel like having the Monday off is the perfect solution! You still get to enjoy the busy weekends spent enjoying different activities and being in the company of family and friends, but Monday can still be reserved for some quiet time where you can properly wind down and rest for the day.
4. Which of the following did you do on your day off?
Family time 100%
Household chores 83%
5. How did you feel going back to work after your extra day off?
6. Describe one experience you had on your day off that made a lasting impression on you.
Typically, a two day weekend feels too short to have time for hobbies and to feel rested for a new week. I was able to travel up to Ben Nevis and climb the mountain whilst also having time for rest and relaxation before a new working week.
Well, I went away on a stag do for a good friend of mine and well let's say it was a far different environment from a zoom call at 11am.
To be completely transparent, I seldom have a full “day-off”. I find it’s inevitable to not check my emails, or Slack messages, or to be pinging ideas back and forward with Robbie. But I honestly don’t mind that, I love what I do and the team, so it doesn’t quite feel like work. For me, the most memorable moments on my day off really are just the time I get back to slow myself down. It’s so easy to run at 100mph all of the time, but when you have a normal ‘working’ day off, it gives you a chance to breathe, and that’s what I find most important and beneficial for me.
My partner and I had a family games night at her parents on Saturday. I love having a work/life balance that allows me to spend time with family and form close bonds. In previous careers I have usually worked a 6 day which resulted in me being too tired to do anything on my only day off.
Being able to take Isla out for the day in Edinburgh during the school holidays and spending quality time together, going for lunch, shopping and the Cinema.
I recently moved house with my partner and was finding it difficult to find the time to do all the things you need to do when you move house without sacrificing my social life at the weekend! With the four-day week, I could still see my family and friends at the weekend and still had an entire day left to build bookshelves at a leisurely pace instead of when I’m tired after work. I also recently picked up roller skating as a new hobby but I’m far too embarrassed to go out on them when it’s busy (I still wobble all over the place) so a weekday is perfect for an early morning skate.
7. What do you think the pros of a four-day week are based on your experiences?
More time for yourself to carry out other hobbies and catch up with friends and family. I am really appreciative of this perk, and it certainly motivates me to get tasks done in four days to ensure you have that time for yourself with a longer weekend. I feel rested, rejuvenated, and ready to offer creativity and focus in a new week
Time to recharge the batteries. Able to go away for a long weekend without taking holiday. More focused/eager when you come back in to work.
Without a doubt it’s the time back to spend on other areas of life outside of work. It doesn’t matter if that’s time to see friends and family, take a stroll through the shops or binge watch Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, it’s just more time that you get to spend doing more of the things that you love. It also helps you focus on the tasks that you really have to get done in the four-days that you are working. It’s really on beneficial for both of us as individuals and the business if we’re productive on the days that we are working, otherwise it just creates additional stress and pressure which counteracts the benefits of having a three-day weekend!
I feel a four-day week gives me enough time to complete all tasks and orders which then allows me to utilise my 3 days off to spend time with family, relax and re-charge for the week ahead.
Being able to spend more time with family during Holidays. Having a long break and the end of the week to rest and overall great work/home life balance.
It’s undeniable that having extra time to put yourself first makes it easier to have a better work life balance. I felt motivated to do more during my work week and perform well because I knew that my work valued my mental health, which I am thankful for. I no longer feel like I am sacrificing not doing household chores if I chose to do social things at the weekend, and I don’t really feel like the work week drags at all. I also love using my extra day off as time to invest in my other interests and hobbies.
8. What do you think the cons of a four-day week are based on your experiences, if any?
A four-day weekend meant there was a lot of work to come back to and sometimes would get FOMO of the changes that were happening in work during a busy time.
Not having structure as to when we get time off. The mixing and changing made it quite confusing and especially when I was trying to tell clients. Also having a Monday and Friday off at the same time meant there was a lot of work to come back to.
I would say that having the four-day week, and having different members of the team on different days off definitely creates challenges when it comes to communication. Very often a lot of the tasks we’re working on are time sensitive, and as a remote-first team, communication is super important. Depending on the tasks at hand, it can create more pressure on getting more work done but in a shorter period of time. Both the pressure and communication challenges can be overcome, as a team we consciously make an effort to over communicate on key updates and projects that impact the wider team, and make use of planning tools like Asana to help us manage our tasks and workflow. The pros outweigh the cons 100%, it’s just a case of making it fit into a wider strategy for how you operate as an individual, team and business.
If we are super busy an extra day off may not be practical.
The only con was having it set initially as a four-day weekend, although in thought this sounds amazing, in reality it meant struggling to get work done before your break and then not knowing what you were coming back to after such a long time off.
If communication fails, it could be easy for things to slip through the cracks which could cause problems along the line. I also think the four-day weekend wasn’t the best format as it did feel like you were coming back to a lot of work after being off for a longer period.
- Do you think a four-day week would benefit other people in different sectors? If so, what ones and why?
Absolutely. Wellbeing is super important and after a crazy 18 months, ensuring your mental health is taken care of and there is balance in your life is very important.
Definitely. There isn’t a one-size fits all with a four-day week though unfortunately. I’m pretty confident that the vast majority of people will find the positive improvements to their mental and physical health by creating a better work/life balance with a four-day week. I’m also pretty certain there will be research already out there that shows the positive impact to productivity for those who have a four-day working week. As I say, each industry and company are different, so it might take a few trials to find the right structure that works for you and your team, but if you’re committed to making it work then you’ll find a way to do that that will benefit both you and your team. Pretty much all office-based role can test four-day week, but all sectors, including hospitality, travel and tourism, services, whilst it may not be as simple as it is to sort an office rota, you can work with your team to adjust shift length and working patterns to make it work.
I feel that those in hospitality and care sectors would massively benefit from a four-day week. Coming from a hospitality background and working 12/14-hour shifts - six days a week, I feel it not only impacted me physically but mentally as well.
I think any form of sector where a person isn’t tied to a specific task, that can be completed by anyone in their absence would work very well. But also, this would work well in a team who work great together and pick up on tasks in your absence.
I don’t see why it couldn’t work for most sectors to be honest! I feel it’s a step in the right direction to better employee wellbeing and create more positive work life balance across the board. I think the way we have done it is good too, trialling it over summer when people’s lives tend to be busier anyway, so it really puts the theory to the test before the quieter winter months.
10. Would you like to have a four-day week again in the future?
Its super beneficial for everyone - I arrive in a new working week feeling recharged whilst also feeling content I have had time for myself.
It really does highlight the work/life balance and allows you to to recharge the batteries for another great week of work.
Having an extra day in my week to do things that I want to do and for myself is a huge enhancement to my life. We’ve just got a puppy - her name is Olive - so not only does it make it easier for me and my partner to look after her, but it means we can go on adventures and really make the most of our growing family without it coming at a cost to my career or annual leave! And if I decide that on my day off, I’m going to pick up some emails and do some tasks for work, that’s okay, because it’s my choice. But I know that when I’m working the rest of the week, I’m committed to delivering whatever I have to and putting my every effort into it. Traditions are there to be respected and admired, but it doesn’t mean that they are set in stone. With advances in technology, remote working and the changes that have followed since the Covid-19 pandemic, more people are starting to actually have that better work-life balance, rather than just saying that they are.
I believe a four-day week benefits myself more than impacts me. It allows me to have an excellent work/life balance.
I think having a full paid four-day week is such an easy way for the employer to show appreciation and helps us feel more invested in the company.
I feel like I’ve benefited both mentally and physically from having the extra day off during the week. I’ve been able to put more time into my own personal growth and learning while still aiming to excel in my work – it’s been an essential part of improving my work life balance, especially since I’m still quite early in my professional career.
Based on the feedback from our team we've now updated how we operate our four-day week with everyone getting a three day weekend and alternative Monday and Fridays off. We know that flexible working models aren't one size fits all and we're enjoying learning what works best for our small team.