In a post COVID world, the four-day week is becoming more relevant than ever before. Prior to the pandemic, there was increasing curiosity about this concept, but now, more than ever, flexible working is on all leaders’ minds.
Andrew Barnes, founder of Perpetual Guardian is said to be the architect of the four-day week after trialing it in his company in 2018. He believes the interest in the concept is an answer to the ‘always on’ culture of our modern world. Work intrudes into our social and family lives through emails and smartphones, there is a decreasing opportunity to switch off. This is all contributing to our other worldwide pandemic, mental health, and stress. The studies which have trialed four-day weeks such as in Japan at Microsoft have all seen increased productivity and reduced stress for colleagues. It is a universally acknowledged truth that most working weeks contain a significant amount of underproductive time, the four-day week aims to reduce this to give back leisure time to employees. For leaders looking to increase productivity and improve employee health and well-being, the four-day week is certainly one to watch.