The problem with a four-day work week

There’s a push to move to a four-day work week. But a big problem still remains.

There was news last week that some Australian companies have started moving to a 4-day work week as part of a global experiment.

Employees from some Australian companies are now working four-day weeks with no cut to their pay.

Twenty companies across Australia and New Zealand began trialling the four-day weeks in early August.

The six-month pilot study, run by not-for-profit 4 Day Week Global, is so far off to a successful start, a spokesperson from the company confirmed to 7NEWS.com.au.

Tech company Our Community is one of a handful of Aussie companies taking part in the trial.

Denis Moriarty, Founder of Our Community, told 7NEWS in 22 years he’s never seen productivity higher among staff.

“Work is just so much better,” he said.

“They do more work in the four days … they come in more energised, and they’re more committed.”

The pilot involves companies in industries ranging from finance to fashion and follows on from similar trials across the world, such as in the UK, where thousands of workers at 70 companies trialled the four-day week back in June.

The trade-off for workers receiving 100 per cent of their pay for working only 80 per cent of their usual week is that they maintain 100 per cent of their productivity.

Does that sound too good to be true? Surprising?

Well, a similar trial has been underway in the UK for some time now, and half way through the experiment, the results look promising:

Early results are in from one of the world’s biggest four-day work week trials — and they look pretty promising so far.

Seventy companies in the UK began a six-month pilot program of a four-day work week in June. On Tuesday, nonprofit 4 Day Week Global, which is spearheading the trial, released findings on the status of the program at its halfway mark.

The 70 participating companies received a check-in survey at the midway point of the trial with questions about how it was going.

Of the 41 that responded, 88% said the new schedule was working “well” for business so far, and 86% said they’d be “likely” or “extremely likely” to consider keeping a four-day work week after the pilot ends.

Claire Daniels, CEO of Trio Media, one of the participating companies, said in the press release, “The four-day week trial so far has been extremely successful for us. Productivity has remained high, with an increase in wellness for the team, along with our business performing 44% better financially.”

As for a potential drop in workers’ output, one of the concerns most commonly cited about four-day work weeks, 46% of respondents said their company’s productivity stayed “around the same level,” another 34% said it “improved slightly,” and 15% reported it had “improved significantly.”

Yep. I don’t doubt this. Happy and healthy humans are much more productive.

And I’m a big fan of this. It’s crazy that we’re working as many hours a week as our grandparents, despite the massive gains in technology.

We need to turn those technological leaps into leisure time!

But you know the problem with a 4-day work week?

The four days you spend working!

Sure, it’s better than five, but the ideal I think we should all be aiming for is zero days.

That’s what passive income gives you – the ability to work zero days and still do well.

This is ‘Rich Dad’ thinking, as Robert Kiyosaki puts it.

So yeah, a four day work week is a big improvement. It’s a great step forward.

But it only gets you so far.

And don’t be waiting for the system to save you and your lifestyle.

You’ve got to take that power into your own hands!


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