Predictably, I’ve been asked about the 4 day work week at every conference I’ve spoken at this year.

And interestingly, the question is usually some version of, “What do you think about the 4 day work week? I understand that the research shows it doesn’t work.”

To which I usually reply, “Really? Tell me what research you’re looking at.” They never can.

All the research I see and all of the companies I know who are trialing this or have embraced it fully are reporting significant benefits.

Some report productivity gains, some report increases in employee wellbeing, and many reporting both.

Why then do so many senior leaders believe it doesn’t work?

I think this article by the The Washington Post says it best, “None of this is easy for executives at older companies to hear, and I have some sympathy with their position.

Senior executives who are not accustomed to working alone, or from home, are understandably unnerved by rows of expensive empty desks in even more expensive and cavernous office buildings.

Certainly, I have felt from time to time a feeling of isolation and a sense of unease at working from home. But I’m convinced that it’s only because I didn’t design Atom bank to be as remote and self-service-style for employees as it has become.

𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗻𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝗮𝗻 𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗹𝘆 𝗻𝗲𝘄 𝘄𝗮𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝘀 𝗯𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝗲 𝘂𝗻𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗳𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲, 𝗯𝘂𝘁 𝗶𝘁 𝗱𝗼𝗲𝘀𝗻’𝘁 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗶𝘁 𝘄𝗿𝗼𝗻𝗴.”

The author makes the case for the 4 day work week by saying, “…we have seen a reduction in recruitment costs, a fall in unwanted staff attrition, lower absences because of sickness and higher employee engagement with our brand.

We’ve also seen higher employee productivity, higher profitability and higher customer satisfaction.

These are not handpicked, rose-tinted performance measures — they are the fundamentals of building and running a business.”

Moving to a 4 day work week can be challenging. We must consider the needs of our clients and then work out the needs of our team.

It’s a massive exercise in collaboration and the companies I’ve seen that are the most successful treat it as a pilot and tweak as they go.

They don’t try to apply a one size fits all policy.

And this is the difficult part. We are conditioned to try to design practices and processes as a blanket policy.

But the #futureofwork demands a more individual and holistic approach.

In almost every presentation I give I say that designing practices is the easy part – shifting our paradigm and recognizing that we need to do things differently is the hard part.

Those companies that are the most successful at that will live to tell the tale.

Those that don’t run the risk of falling over because they cannot attract or keep enough people.

#embracethefuture #4dayworkweek