A universal four day workweek would benefit all kinds of workers and nearly every sector and industry has companies and nonprofits that have successfully switched to a 4 day workweek, or other form of reduced hour work week, without reducing pay. A 4 day workweek is most readily achievable for salaried workers with computer-centric labor–but it cannot be limited to these companies. For salaried workers engaged in labor that requires physical presence, like manufacturing, construction and healthcare, a 4 day workweek is very achievable and there are success stories across the world to prove it. The five day workweek was pioneered in auto manufacturing, after all. For hourly wage workers, we know that the priority is the ability to earn a living wage. While a standard 4 day workweek doesn't directly address the problem, it calls upon employers to pay workers more per hour and creates a new standard for evaluating how hourly wages add up to a fair and liveable annual income. Finally, for the growing class of gig workers, a universal 4 day workweek would expand the time when most gig work occurs (outside of standard working hours), giving gig workers more opportunities and more control over their working hours. This would benefit us all and now is the time to make it happen.
A #4dayworkweek is better for people, better for business, and better for society. Sign the petition and join the movement at workfour.org.
A successful pilot of a 4 day workweek is a pact between an employer and their people. It takes commitment and trust from both sides. Build up support for a trial among fellow employees and learn how to approach your employer in a constructive and cooperative way to find a path that can work for everyone.
Introduce the topic neutrally to start a conversation: Our advice is to introduce the topic as neutrally as possible to start a conversation with leadership about a 4 day workweek. Note the recent research and pilots and that this is an emerging issue in the future of work. It may be a competitive risk or just something that's worth understanding. Position yourself as a skeptic and maybe propose developing a brief on the topic for leadership summarizing what the most recent research is and how companies are making it work.
Reach out to us: If you're in a position to have a conversation at work about the topic, get in touch for advice on how best to advance the conversation with your employer in a constructive and positive way about piloting a 4 day workweek.
Build support for a trial: Once the issue is on the table, getting employee interest in a 4 day workweek at your organization is important for building momentum and interest in a trial. Share our petition with coworkers and we’ll share with you the number of employees who have signed on. Identify executives or other leaders who are your allies in bringing this issue forward.
Lead a data informed process: The 4 day workweek can stir up a lot of emotions–excitement in employees and fear in managers and leaders. It's important to remind everyone that piloting a 4 day workweek needs to be a data driven process to ensure that it is working for everyone, including the organization.
Author. Father. Advocate.
"Going to a flexible, four-day week schedule was honestly one of the best turning points in my life. This, more than anything, helped us split our caring duties evenly, and ensured we could share the mental load of managing a home with two toddlers running on as much combined energy as the sun. Working flexibly has made my life more rewarding. I have had one day during the week to be with my two children and take care of them during this time, and they are the most special moments in my life. We goof around and play games in the warm sun, grab coffees and treats from our local cafes, explore little bush tracks near our house, and watch the winter waves crash on the creamy sands of the northern beaches while we draw pictures with sticks and build castles. To have this time to refocus my mind on what is important in life, to distance myself (even just a little) from work, and to reaffirm my close relationship with my children, is truly priceless. I’m a better person for it and it helps with my levels of anxiety and stress generally."