Is a 4 day working week the way forward?

23 January 2020 Gemma Davies


A continued topic of conversation in the office has been discussing the advantages of the 4-day working week. That might be because we are still slowly but surely settling back into work after the holiday break, but after second thoughts … could this really be the new way forward?

Yes, this would be a big challenge of the norm in the advertising and marketing industry, with many marketers claiming that the long hours are necessary, but study after study shows that when we lose work-life balance, everyone suffers the consequences. There have been many articles circulating about this topic, so could the 4-day working week really help and encourage a healthier work-life balance?

Aussie Digital Agency ‘Versa’ took on the challenge and decided to close their doors every Wednesday. In a 20-month experiment, the agency extended their working days to achieve their normal hours of work a week, but over a 4 day period. Research shows that ‘Work overload decreases productivity by 68% in employees who feel they don’t have enough hours in the day to complete their tasks’. So, the longer days could help, especially in busy agencies with deadlines, where employees find themselves staying later into the evenings most nights anyway. Another figure from research into work-life balance showed that in 2019 ‘26% of work was done outside of normal working hours’, so this supports the extension of hours but gratitude with a reward of a mid-week break!

Vera implemented there to be no client meetings, no deliveries and no pitches to clients to be arranged on a Wednesday and also no expectation of checking emails. This surprising Figure shows that 'the average worker spends approximately 22 years of their 45-year career in meetings' – now that defiantly makes you think about whether this time could be prioritised doing something different or whether that meeting was ever needed in the first place! As a result, Vera saw huge changes in the workspace, with productively soaring within their employees, but also saw a rise in profit!

The benefits of this argument which we have seen in most articles is that researchers believe a 4-day working week will keep our productivity levels on a continued high. We arrive in the office ready for the week on a Monday, which is always a busy day, checking emails and calling clients, which can continue through to Tuesday. But sometimes by a Wednesday, we can hit a bit of a lull.

So, could this be the end of hump day and all the related memes? That feeling of nearly there but still so far away from the weekend, but instead a well-deserved rest day. We are then ready to be back in the office on Thursday, fresh-faced and prepared to tackle the rest of the week