September 25, 2023

My legislation agency began its 4-day work week venture in March of 2021. It has been precisely 2 years since we applied this progressive coverage and what’s been most fascinating to me are the new and sudden advantages and challenges which have arisen effectively into this system. I’m speaking not less than one yr in.

Once I began the compressed workweek venture and later reported on it 3 months later, the problems that we face now had been non-existent. Many of the present information popping out on this idea captures information primarily based on a 6 month or shorter timeframe. I wish to shed some mild on what to anticipate as corporations proceed on with 4-day work weeks past the primary few months.

What Occurred to Our Revenues and Income over the Previous 2 Years?

I’ll preface this by saying that I don’t consider 4-day work weeks alone contributed to our outcomes under however they definitely have one thing to do with it. My agency has at all times executed effectively with growth and revenues as a consequence of many, many various factors and one consider itself is just not a deciding issue. However I can also’t assist however acknowledge that 4-day work weeks had one thing to do with the next stats:


I consider that our 4-day workweek insurance policies contributed to our development as a result of:

  1. We have now means, means much less turnover;
  2. A lot larger loyalty;
  3. Worker engagement;
  4. Extra centered and extra productive workers;
  5. Happier and more healthy workers;
  6. Our workers belief us and provides again as a result of we have now determined to be nicer to them;
  7. Our sick day requests have been lowered by over 80%;
  8. Staff schedule all their different appointments and life occasions on the break day as an alternative of through the workdays
  9. This simply feels proper

The ‘lazy’ Job Candidates and How We Handled Them

This unlucky problem arose effectively into the venture and never initially of it as we began the venture with present workers. I think most of the latest experiences on 4-day work weeks don’t see or cope with this phenomenon however as we go deeper into it, I feel it’s inevitable that every one corporations will expertise it. Sure, we began getting functions from the lazy workers who take a look at work strictly from the attitude of constructing as a lot cash by doing as little as doable – enormous no-no.

I will likely be first to say that my agency is busy. Anybody working for us by no means has a boring second and to be frank, generally we exhaust our workers as a result of we’re a legislation agency, not a spa. We even have an ever-changing and dynamic work atmosphere – like a start-up. So whoever involves YLaw must be ready for full-on days and never a minute to spare.

I positively didn’t need to ship a message to draw lazy individuals!

Combating Lazy Candidates

Everybody who’s employed by YLaw should work 5 days per week bodily from the workplace throughout their probationary interval which is normally 3 months. As soon as they go the probationary interval, they will work hybrid and 4 days per week.

Throughout the first 3 months, any employer may have an excellent concept concerning the work ethic, perspective, and potential of latest hires so if the brand new rent commits to the above coverage and proves that they’re right here to work arduous and in addition benefit from the privilege of working 4 day weeks, then they’ve a spot at YLaw. If not, ‘so long’.

We additionally labored very arduous on ensuring our branding and the message we give out throughout our hiring course of, from our commercial for a job to the interviews, is constant and relays precisely what the intent of 4-day work weeks are, and who will profit from being at YLaw.

What is vital, once more, is to speak that 4-day work weeks are a privilege not a proper and workers must earn this profit, not take it without any consideration. 

Has Our Staff’ Opinion of 4-Day Workweeks Modified Over the Final 2 Years?

Yesterday I interviewed nearly all of our workers, together with companions, associates, and workers about 4-day work weeks. I used to be as soon as once more shocked at their suggestions. I had confronted and heard concerning the challenges they confronted working 4 day work weeks together with the challenges of assembly their targets, not at all times with the ability to take Wednesdays (our ‘off’ day) off, or being scheduled in courtroom listening to on the break day.

However as soon as I sat with every of them one-on-one, the next was what they stated:

I couldn’t think about my life working 5 days per week

My psychological well being has improved by not less than 50% since I began working 4 day work weeks

It’s not about having to work on the break day if we have to, its about being given the pliability to do what I would like or can do on the break day

I like the break day as a result of it offers me the management and energy to resolve the best way to spend my day and I’m not on another person’s watch

I’d by no means go away this agency as a result of I’d by no means need to work a 5 day per week job

When you evaluate the above solutions to the solutions I received 3 months into the venture, the outcomes are constant and haven’t modified: our individuals love 4-day work weeks and they don’t need to return.

The Problem of Emergencies on the Day Off

The most important false impression about 4-day work weeks is individuals suppose they will truly work solely 4 days per week, 100% of the time.

This assumption is fake for almost all of the businesses that do this idea. As with all service trade, we continually cope with shoppers, are contracted out, cope with human emergencies, and lots of deadlines and occasions that are out of our management.

Within the authorized trade, examples of the above are pressing courtroom hearings, kids being kidnapped, household emergencies, and so forth.

When these emergencies come up, we’re mandated to cope with them as per our Regulation Society Guidelines. Sure, meaning dropping all the things to cope with them, together with having to work on our break day – even on the weekends.

Might Attorneys Work 4-Day Work Weeks?

In my interviews with our attorneys, they stated they’ve needed to work not less than 1 hour or extra on over 50% of Wednesdays.

How In regards to the Employees?

When it got here to workers, they stated they needed to work roughly 20% of the Wednesdays and needed to be accessible in case an emergency got here up.

What Precisely About 4-Day Work Weeks did the Staff Take pleasure in?

What all workers stated univocally was that it was much less about not engaged on Wednesdays and extra about with the ability to select what they do with their hours and time on Wednesdays. Having the flexibility of taking the break day, going for a brunch or an train. Grabbing a espresso and sure, possibly working an hour or 2 from residence to tie up the free ends. These had been the advantages they noticed in 4-day work weeks; it was by no means about strictly taking each Wednesday off.

Assembly Billable Targets and Challenge Deadlines

When it got here to assembly targets, all acknowledged that they needed to be rather more centered and productive on their workdays to attain them, and had been utterly high-quality with that in change for protecting the 4-day workweek insurance policies.

On the finish of the day, the vote was that if somebody was lazy or couldn’t meet targets, working 4 days versus 5 days per week didn’t make a distinction. It got here all the way down to perspective and dedication to get the job executed, not the variety of hours or days one needed to work.

I frankly agree with them. Staff are both accountable, engaged, and dedicated, or not. Working 4 or 5 days per week doesn’t change their character nor does it change their work ethics.

Surprising Advantages of the Day Off

One sudden advantage of compressed work weeks was some workers pursuing programs, larger training, or levels and utilizing the break day to check and advance of their careers. This was such a welcome and nice shock for me as an employer. It additionally makes me really feel good that workers not really feel like they’ve to interact within the grind and might truly use a few of their time doing what they like to do, or enhance who they’re and their profession.

Ultimate Ideas on 4-Day Work Weeks

  • They’re a problem to implement. We developed and refined many insurance policies and have lastly discovered our candy spot;
  • They take loads of planning and thought;
  • Most workers don’t benefit from them and can get the job/duties executed regardless;
  • Income and revenues will develop – consider it or not;
  • You possibly can entice the improper crowd by promoting 4-day work weeks and must get your message proper and clear;
  • They work for nearly each trade and each job sort;
  • They’re a privilege, not a proper;
  • Typically you’d must work 5, 6, or 7 days per week and that’s OK; that’s simply life;
  • They make you numerous happier, quite a bit much less careworn, and much more balanced;
    • They make extra sense than 5-day work weeks;
  • They maintain workers engaged and completely satisfied;
  • Turnover will likely be lowered, loyalty will improve;
  • Staff will belief you extra;
  • Employers should be extra vigilant about holding workers accountable to achieve their targets;
  • They work.

It is best to do it.

Written by Leena Yousefi – February 2023.