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A four-day workweek is a breath of fresh Friday air

Illustration by Kate Walker

A four-day workweek is a breath of fresh Friday air


The Future. Nonprofit 4 Day Week Global, in partnership with top think tanks and universities in the U.K., is hearing that its four-day workweek test is resonating with employers and employees, showing that less time at the office doesn’t mean that less work gets done. With similar tests rolling out soon in the U.S. and Ireland, 4 Day Week Global may be the driving force in making your weekend longer.

Dish day
According to CNN, the U.K.’s four-day workweek test — to see if workers could maintain 100% productivity while only working 80% of the usual schedule, with no pay cuts — came back with some chill results.

  • Leaders from the 70 companies involved report that while the program’s rollout was initially rough, employees ultimately kept pace with the work and experienced less burnout.
  • It also challenged them to optimize the time people were working — less rambling meetings, more “deep work time.”
  • The 3,300 employees involved in the trial say they finally have time to catch up on chores, try new hobbies, and hangout with friends and family.

Silicon Siesta
4 Day Week Global’s test is the largest trial since Iceland’s pilot program in 2019 (the country also conducted one in 2015). Like the U.K. test, Iceland’s also found that employee productivity stayed the same while their well-being increased.

Silicon Valley is also toying with a four-day workweek, especially as worker burnout has hit record highs during the pandemic. Companies as diverse as thredUP, Microsoft, Amazon, and Cisco piloted the shortened schedule… to promising results.

Now the big question is: who will be the first to make it permanent?

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