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The 4-Day Work Week

Periodically, someone will float the idea of the 4-day work week. Usually it is me during summer when I would like to have a standing Friday tee time. However, others talk about it occasionally as well.

I am not going to advocate for or against it. I want to discuss the Do's and Don'ts when considering this option.


DO

  • Ensure you have strong managers who believe in the concept. Managers who can't set expectations or hold people accountable - or who simply are old school in their thinking - won't support the initiative.

  • Understand if you will need to hire additional people and the cost of these people. This needs to be part of the decision-making process and how you evaluate if it is a success. Some studies have shown hiring people can be offset by additional productivity. You can only prove this if you are tracking specific cost and productivity metrics.

  • Create an experiment. Don't just start it - figure out how it works best with your culture.

  • Start small and make adjustments as you expand the policy.

DON'T

  • Consider reducing pay for people. You should expect the same amount of work in 4 days as in 5, so you should pay them the same.

  • Think this means your people are lazy and not working hard enough for 5 full days. Work expands and contracts to fit the time you have - it has nothing with how hard people work.

These are by no means the only things to consider, so go into any decision having thought everything through.

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