This is *exactly* how to persuade your employer to try out a four-day week
If you suggest this route, make sure you outline how its success will be measured, how long it should last for, and consider whether employees in your company will be happy to agree to the trial before it’s officially instated. You’ll also need to think about whether the team will be out of office one set day or, or whether it should be rotational, with some employees working on the Friday, and some working on the Monday.
Having all of this information ready when suggesting the trial takes the legwork out for your boss having to do it, and a trial enables them to test the waters before fully committing to a big change.
Pull the data to support your case
Having data on hand to support your case for the four-day work week adds credibility to your proposal. And although the benefits of a four-day work week are still being researched, plenty of studies show that moving to a shorter working week is beneficial for employees and employers alike.
The largest study to date is Iceland’s study on a shorter working week, where researchers trialled employees working 35-36 hours per week instead of the traditional 40. Results were a success with 86% of the country’s workforce now working shorter hours or gaining the right to shorten their hours. Productivity remained the same or increased, and worker wellbeing dramatically increased.
Many of the trials for a four-day week are still in the research phase, but workers remain largely in favour of the idea. According to a poll by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) Scotland, which surveyed 2,203 working-aged Scottish people, over 80 per cent would support the introduction of a four-day working week with no loss of pay and 65 per cent believe that it would have a positive impact on Scotland’s productivity.
Additionally, introducing a four-day work week could even help your company to win the war on hiring talent. According to the 2022 Global Talent Trends Report, 63% of workers prioritise work-life balance over compensation and benefits, and colleagues and culture.
Consider how you’d measure its success
How you measure the success of a four-day work week will vary depending on the industry and type of work. And whilst many of the studies measure productivity, it’s important to define what that looks like for your company.
The following are just a few ideas of ways that you could measure the impact of the four day work week:
Employee satisfaction: Are you and your colleagues happier in your workplace since the four day work-week trial began? Are you more willing to stay if your company commits to a four-day work week?
Task completion: Are you and your team getting tasks done more quickly than you were before the four-day work week?
Increased results: Are you getting more or improved results since your company adopted a four-day work week?
Of course, you will need to benchmark your company’s current performance before you trial a four-day work week so that you can accurately compare results to see if a four-day work week is truly beneficial.
If your manager declines, there are other options
If your proposal is met with hesitation or declined, you could always suggest other ways that your company can support a better work-life balance. For example: Reducing the company’s core working hours so you still work five days per week, but with shorter days; introducing flexi-hours where people can start working later or earlier; having a half-day every or every other Friday or suggesting improved remote working options for those who want it.