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The Four-Day Working Week – Does It Work?

Four Day Working Week

Earlier this year, the world started trialling a four-day working week – something unheard of before. This four-day working week is targeted at reducing stress for employees, while staying on the same salary.

More and more companies within the UK are joining the trend, but how does it actually work and would it be suitable for your business?

Here’s our guide on the four-day working week and how to navigate it…

What is a Four-Day Working Week?

Exactly how it sounds – the four-day working week is designed for employees to only work four days per week, with no reduced pay or consequences. As an example, employees would only work Monday-Thursday and have a three-day weekend. The point of the four-day working week is to reduce stress for employees, and allow employees to have more time doing things out-of-work, with no reduced pay, no consequences and not just cramming the same five-day workload into four. With a four-day working week, employees won’t have to work the same hours in the week (i.e. 4 long days instead of 5 normal ones), but they’ll get reduced hours and possibly a reduced workload.

The Disadvantages

The most worrying question when it comes to a four-day working week is – does it compress the same amount of work into fewer days, making it more stressful for employees to complete the work within the deadline.

The answer should be no, but employers are still navigating how to shorten the working week while not letting clients down, or having a large backlog of work which causes more pressure.

Four-day working weeks should be approached with a pro-active plan, scheduling workloads so that employees won’t fall behind, re-thinking strategies and welcoming feedback.

The Advantages

There is an abundance of advantages when it comes to four-day working weeks – the BBC reported over 86% of those surveyed that has taken part in the UK’s four-day working week trial, will be keeping the policy going after the trial ends.

Four-day working weeks have seen employees take a more proactive approach to scheduling content, planning ahead and spending more time focused than with a five-day week. The shorter week will allow more time for relaxation, which in turn, means more focus when it comes to working.

The truth is, five-day weeks have been around for centuries, and our lives have developed and adapted, so it may be time to revisit working approaches.

Although there are many employees that choose to work out-of-hours on weekends (we definitely don’t recommend spending your free time working), this extra day off will mean that some of it could be used for potential work if needs be, but you will have more time to spend as you wish.

Applying it to Your Business

It goes without saying, not every business ‘trend’ will also apply to your own business – but welcoming change and keeping an open mind to developing ideas is a great way of attracting new employees and keeping your current ones happy.

As previously mentioned, around 86% of trial companies have welcomed this approach into their business permanently, so if you’re looking for a new working system, this one could be a great experiment!


If you’re looking to develop a four-day working week and don’t know where to start, we’re here to help. Zest offers UK-based executive coaching, giving you a helping hand when it comes to development – email us at and we’ll be happy to assist.

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