Hey Reddit! I'm Dr. Dale Whelehan the CEO of 4 Day Week Global. A non-for-profit organization that collaborates with universities, notably Boston and Cambridge to research the effects of a shorter work week on people and companies.

I have a a background in behaviour science and a PhD focused on the impact of fatigue and sleep deprivation in healthcare workers.

I'm passionate about the transformative power of shorter working hours and the positive impact they can have on people's lives. Especially, recently with the rise in stress, burnout and inflation! On a mission to create a million new years of free time.

Ask me anything!

Proof: Here's my proof!

EDIT: Hi, this is Alex Pang, director at 4DWG and author of the books SHORTER and WORK LESS, DO MORE, about the 4-day week movement. Dale is off but I'll be around to answer some more questions.

EDIT2: This is Alex signing off. Thanks everyone for your great questions!

Comments: 227 • Responses: 58  • Date: 

alexLAD212 karma

Appreciate your great work bringing this to the mainstream!

If office workers shift to a 4 day work week, is there a risk that customer service workers have to pick up more hours due to people having that extra day to consume stuff e.g. going to cafes and restaurants etc?

Dale4dayWeek164 karma

Wonderful question - what we find is that in people's time off, there is an increase investment in local economies due to activities just like you mentioned above.

I think for service workers - we're going to see increased profits in some instances, which could allow additional staff, in return allowing more time off for current staff. Some other companies bring in the 4 day week whereby some staff work Mon-Thurs, others work Tues-Fri, others work Wed-Sat etc - so there is continuous service provision.

Certainly something we'll keep an eye on though over the coming few months. The city of Valencia evaluated city wide outcomes in April which i'll hopefully get some insights in and be able to share soon!

paradoxwatch74 karma

we're going to see increased profits in some instances, which could allow additional staff

Why would they hire new staff when Covid showed them they could run a skeleton crew and make record profits?

Dale4dayWeek76 karma

Assuming that's what COVID showed them. Plenty of companies still see attracting and retaining good workers as the bigger challenge.

Dale4dayWeek46 karma

There is a bigger underlying question here, namely what do people do with their free time? So far, what we're seeing is that when you give people more free time, they do disgustingly wholesome things things with: more child care, time with family, etc.

But there are economies that adopt shorter hours in part to stimulate consumption (China in the 1990s is the great recent example). So it's possible that demand for leisure and hospitality services will increase, but the question will be how providers respond.

HakimDeSar84 karma

How can a 4 day week work in manual labour? In desk jobs it is pretty obvious how productivity remains stable with 4 days of work per week. How ,for example, can a salesperson be as productive in 4 days as in 5 days?

Dale4dayWeek64 karma

A peculiar but relevant example. One case study was a fish and chip shop in the U.K.

They used our 100-80-100 principle™ in a non-traditional way (100 pay - 80% time - 100 output). They closed business during troughs in their work, and worked normal hours during peak periods - in doing so, their staff were better rested across a period of time.

Dale4dayWeek40 karma

Another data-point in sales [this is Alex]: In 2019 Ourisman Lexus in Rockville MD moved sales staff to a 4-day workweek, and introduced transparency in pay (which from what I gather is unusual in the industry). They had a banner couple months, broke sales records, but the GM who introduced it left and their replacement seems to have killed off the program.

Here's GM James Boening talking about it:

We have gone to, which is everybody’s going to be like, “What are you talking about?” We went to a four day work week. It doesn’t matter if you’re a sales manager, it doesn’t matter if you’re a GSM, it doesn’t matter if you’re a salesperson, an FNI manager, it doesn’t matter. I mean, everyone is on a four day work week. I will tell you, to give three days full days off a week in this industry, it’s unheard of.
Everyone’s like, “Okay, how did you pull that off?” It’s very interesting. I found some weird dynamics. How I was able to do it is I found out I actually have more people here during a longer period of time than trying to break everybody up over an amount of time. It was very interesting, so the coverage is actually more, and I have more time off for my team. We don’t go, “Okay, it’s the last week of the month. Guess what? I need everyone here bell to bell.” We don’t do that either. We don’t do any of the old traditional things. I mean, as a matter of fact, I’ve tried to break every single old mold possible. Even with pay plans where even my managers and my salespeople, I’m super transparent. We’re like, “Okay, we’re going to pay everybody on every last red cent. Hold back, FNI, packs, docs, hidden packs, hidden docs.”

GonzoTheGreat2256 karma

What’s the elevator pitch for this kind of cultural shift in how we manage human capital? I am 100% for it, but am in a traditional brick & mortar retailer who came into remote work kicking and screaming with the pandemic…

There’s good to be had here, what’s the pitch to get it considered?

Dale4dayWeek92 karma

We find there is many ways to sell the message depending on the organisational leader. In this instance:

> Your staff are happier and healthier

> Your staff end up being more productive

> Revenue in organisations to date has increased through this intervention based on the above findings

> You can reduce overhead costs around staff absenteeism (drops on average 57%)

> Your staff will be more motivated in their work

> This is an experiment - if it doesn't end up working you can always pull the plug. Many companies are clear on the expectations for employees throughout the trial, as well as the redlines for ending a trial

reason2listen40 karma

The leaders of so many companies I have worked for are so dysfunctional that some of those items don’t matter at all to them.

  • Happier and healthier? That’s not the role of a employer. I’m not happy or healthy, nor do I care if my employees are.

  • more productive? That’s unpossible if they work less time

  • more motivated? I pay them to be motivated.

  • those companies are different. It would never work for us

  • we don’t have an absenteeism problem. Just a few lazy employees

  • giving people 4 day work weeks and then revoking it would be brutal and potentially have a serious consequences (only one I agree with to some degree)

Hopefully enough clear minded and modernized leaders try this to make it obvious to the dinosaurs that this is a viable path forward.

Dale4dayWeek58 karma

Leaders of 4-day week companies often have been more interested in the health and wellbeing of their workers, and have wanted a 4-day week because for themselves because of family demands, a health scare, etc.

So there absolutely are uncaring leaders in the world; but the good news is that there are lots of leaders who see the value of a shorter week for themselves, and their people.

insaneintheblain31 karma

How can a 4 day workweek work in a competitive environment? For example if company A wants to reduce the work week to 4 days, will they do that it their competitors companies B and C aren't?

Dale4dayWeek100 karma

If anything, we're finding that company A will do so as a competitive advantage. Our pilots are showing to date a maintenance, or growth in business revenue through a reduced working hour model.

On the otherside, the war for talent is a huge problem for organisations right now - and companies implementing a 4 Day Week are seeing exponential growth in applicants for job postings they traditionally struggled to hire for.

TA_poly_sci16 karma

I would love to know how you are getting credible causal estimates out from pilot programs. Do you have a control group for comparisons or what exactly is the strategy?

Dale4dayWeek12 karma

Adding control groups for the next round of surveys.

And Iceland's 2015-2019 study of shorter workweeks (which were not 4-day weeks, but they've always talked about "betri vinnutíma", better working hours, rather than a 4-day week specifically) looked both at departments that shortened working hours, and a control group: https://www.strategy.rest/?p=10082

qroshan-21 karma

How can anyone trust research from an organization who is already determined to implement 4-day week work plan?

Economy is complex. So any 'causal' research is suspect. But, i guess you get paid handsomely from Progressives to feed this bullshit.

This is no different from Cato or AEI 'research'

Dale4dayWeek19 karma

This reminds me of the old economics punch line puts it, "It works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

There are now thousands of companies, around the world, in a variety of industries, of all sizes, actually doing it. You can certainly argue over survey methodology, make a case that the self-selecting nature of trial groups makes it impossible to extrapolate to entire economies, argue that over the long run the Hobbesian nature of life will overrun the Rousseauian character of the 4-day week, but it's harder to explain away companies actually doing it-- not for ideological reasons, but because they find it solves problems.

qroshan-19 karma

I can find plenty of holes in both your practice / theory explanations not to mention the bias. But, you are practically preaching to the r/antiwork crowd here. So, You'll have plenty of fans here.

Even an objective 10 year old can see the bias you are bringing in to this research.

How is this research different from Tobacco companies producing "Tobacco is safe" research and a TobaccoMan going to Tobacco addicts club and doing an AMA?

I for one look forward to opening a Private Equity firm and crush 4-day week companies with 5-day week companies. It's a great arbitrage opportunity.

Dale4dayWeek18 karma

The 4-day week movement is not anti-work, unless "anti-work" means "create structures and incentives that encourage greater efficiency in exchange for shorter working hours."

Dale4dayWeek23 karma

Thank you all for your engagement! I am clocking off but please feel free to reach out to us at 4 Day Week Global if you'd like to get involved!

BloodOrangeBitters20 karma

Do you have examples of companies that have managed to do this long term? My company piloted this when the job market was extremely competitive pre-pandemic and into the tech hiring bubble during the pandemic. It was exactly as you said in a comment below, a war for talent and this was seen as a competitive advantage in hiring. Keyword: was. Market is not like it was just a couple years ago and companies that were bending over backwards for talent (Bay Area tech mostly) are now realizing the scales are tipping back. Thousands of qualified candidates getting canned and replaced with less experienced resources who don’t have the leverage they did before to ask for things like this. Seems like a great business model in 2020 but executives are now showing their true colors and all the lip service about work life balance and flexible location/hours is no longer needed to attract talent. A 4-day week is low on the list of priorities for me if I were to consider a job change now that salary and job stability are now being called into question.

Dale4dayWeek21 karma

It's a great question - and one we definitely need to look at as the economy changes. This movement really has kicked off with the emerging changes we've seen in ways of working since the pandemic.

I'm confident it is going away because:

  1. SMEs will likely use this as a competitive advantage before larger organisations
  2. There is growing governmental interest - i've spoken to 15 ministries in the last three months, many considering national pilot programmes, and often not for the reason of productivity, but to answer more global issues facing countries in areas such as sustainability, equity, and mental health
  3. Gen Z are definitely a fundamentally different generation and because the 'american dream' is over for many, they're looking at work in a different lens to other generations

We JUST got insights into the first pilot group who are a year in to the trial - and the results are looking very good. Hope to have more news to share about this in the coming month. Otherwise, Unilever, Microsoft are good large company examples at present - and from the clients we're on boarding to the 4 day week at the moment, we're seeing some pretty big movement makers trialling this in the coming year - which will create a new type of competitive pressure for many organisations.

Finally, trade unions are increasingly adopting this as a key policy negotiation for the future - because unlike salary, time remains constant irrespective of the economy.

Dale4dayWeek12 karma

Interestingly [this is Alex], we're not yet seeing a slowdown in 4-day week trials as a result of a softening economy.

Why is that? My best guess is that for enough companies, the 4-day week is seen as a way to solve a variety of structural issues or stubborn problems with hiring, retention, work-life balance, etc at once, not just a tool for boosting recruitment. Plus, if you're a founder who's thinking about the long-term viability of your company, doing difficult work that requires a happy team that works well together and understands the long history of the product, then even in a soft market you can't quite afford to treat your workers like interchangeable cogs. And time is always valuable.

PeanutSalsa17 karma

What are the negatives of a 4 day work week for all the parties involved?

Dale4dayWeek23 karma

It isn't easy - it requires a very fundamental shift to how we work and that can be a hard question for many organisations to think about in a genuine and authentic way.

If organisations can do so successfully - they reap the benefits

If organisations go into this blindly, not recognising the significant pre-work and ongoing continuous improvement thats required in the process - they will struggle

hiddikel15 karma

If businesses and government in the u.s. are becoming more and more anti-remote and anti-telework despite the benefits and obvious positives how can we expect 4 day work week to catch on.

What monumental changes do you see that need to change before it actually catches on?

Dale4dayWeek10 karma

Great question. Here are just three macro drivers I think that will tip this over the edge for many, though i see many more internal and external factors influencing this conversation further over the coming years.

  1. An evidently growing global mental health crisis which is costing countries millions in productivity, and public service use
  2. An ever worsening climate crisis, which is showing no sign of significant impact through personal responsibility interventions - changing how we work can fundamentally change how we behave regarding sustainability
  3. When more countries run national pilots and show the reverse-u shape relationship between time and productivity it will become hard for policy-makers to ignore

EqualityForAllll13 karma

When you're selling employers on this, are you convincing them to keep paying people their 5-day-pay and full-time status perks like Healthcare?

Otherwise you're just fucking over labour

Dale4dayWeek22 karma

Yep - we don't advocate for taking anything away - this is an additional benefit.

100-80-100™ - 100 pay, 80 time, 100 output

EqualityForAllll4 karma

With full-time benefits, as well?

Dale4dayWeek28 karma

Nobody changes health care, retirement, etc., though sometimes you have to figure out administratively how to do the accounting so people's pension matches aren't reduced when the workweek is 32 hours long, etc.

The one thing that can be reduced sometimes are vacation days: you might go from 20 paid days to 12-15. But in exchange, you get every Friday off. Most people will do the math and conclude that they still come out on top.

EqualityForAllll7 karma

Thank you for your answer. I'm glad this wasn't some neo-liberal labour destruction policy couched in hashing:SelfCare like I thought it was

Dale4dayWeek13 karma

No problem. And all too often self-care regimens become a way of making individuals responsible for enduring structural inequities and moral injury, in a way that absolves companies of responsibility for their harm, diverts energy from collective action, and lets people blame themselves if they don't get better. We're not crazy about that.

swagerito2 karma

I wouldn't mind this at all. I love free time, but i hate adjusting to a new schedule.

Dale4dayWeek3 karma

Alas, nothing comes without tradeoffs! The 4-day week is something you earn-- or more precisely, it's something that everyone creates together.

Brilliant_Door_451313 karma

Less work, more weekend? Count me in!

Dale4dayWeek18 karma


Purplekeyboard11 karma

The idea behind this is that office workers apparently have lots of free time during the day, so that they can easily get all their work done in 80% of the time they currently work, allowing them to work 4 days instead of 5. And that may well be true.

But a large percentage of people do not work in offices, and in fact have to work 100% of the time already. If they work less hours, they will simply get less work done. This is true for truck drivers, waitresses, nurses, dentists, cashiers, plumbers, and about 1000 other occupations.

Please explain how society will continue to function properly when 20% of the work that all these people do just isn't being done any more. Where will we get all the new teachers and nurses and dentists and truck drivers and electricians. Will we be importing them from other countries?

Also, what will happen when all these people are either making 20% less money, or when all the companies employing them have to raise their prices to make up for the fact that all these people are now doing 20% less work and they have to hire many more workers?

Dale4dayWeek19 karma

No one is arguing for a reduction in wages. And the 4-day week has been adopted by restaurants, nursing homes, factories, breweries, pest control companies, etc.. It's not just white collar office workers, but line chefs, CNAs, mechanics, etc.

Fundamentally, what we're talking about is taking the kinds of gains that have been provided by more powerful technologies or process improvements, and converting them into time and is shared by everyone, rather than turning them into capital that is mainly hoarded by owners.

cheating_cheater11 karma

Do you foresee schools making the shift to a 4 day week as well if other businesses follow suit?

Dale4dayWeek10 karma

I think the fact that the rest of the world is on a 5-day week makes it a lot harder for schools to shift. The UAE moved schools and the public sector to a 4.5-day week in 2022 (I wrote about it here), and doing both sectors together definitely seems to have made it easier for schools.

Fengsel9 karma

Does 4 day work week mean 10 hours each day or 8 hours?

Dale4dayWeek8 karma

We've been working with companies that have reduced weekly working hours, not just moved the hours around on the calendar. There are companies that are doing that-- lots of companies Japan, for example, offer 4 10-hour days.

Lamorra17736 karma

How can I help?

Dale4dayWeek5 karma

We have an advocates network which we're always trying to build on! If you're interested pop me an email at [hello@4dayweek.com](mailto:hello@4dayweek.com)

theborrachonacho6 karma

Are there any sectors where you've found that a 4 day week doesn't work? I can't imagine schools for example going to a 4 day week.

Dale4dayWeek6 karma

There a number of school districts in the US that have moved to 4-day weeks, mainly in response to budget cuts, to reduce commuting hours in rural districts, or to retain teachers. The practice is controversial, as it often requires parents to come up with another day of child care, and the impact on test scores or learning is mixed (some studies say there's no impact, some claim there's a negative effect). However, the United Arab Emirates launched its 4.5 day week for the public sector and schools in 2022, and schools there have used it more as an opportunity to introduce experiential learning and other experiments; the fact that plenty of parents are on the same schedule really helps as well.

Dale4dayWeek3 karma

In addition, if you commute to the job by helicopter and have 12-hour shifts for 2 weeks (like on an oil rig), it's going to be hard to make a change. (We actually did once talk to a company that services oil rigs about this.)

jhndflpp4 karma

do you have psychological evidence that clearly supports that the added stress of doing the same amount of work in less time* but gaining more free time is healthier overall for the average worker than the current 5-day system?

*or just less days? i'm still not entirely clear on whether this is advocating 4, 8-hour days or 4, 10-hour days

Dale4dayWeek4 karma

Reduction in working hours per week, not just keeping 40 hours but fitting them into 4 days.

Here's one data-point (and I would drop a graphic in here but I can't figure out how to do that, so I'll just describe it): Synergy Vision, a London medical editing company, surveyed employees before starting a 6-month trial, and then 6 months in. The percentage of people who agreed with the statement, "I have enough time to complete my work" rose from 50% before the trial to 79% six months in-- even though the number of hours people were working dropped by 20%.

What's going on here? Two important things, I think. First, you're seeing the benefits of greater efficiency: the 4-day week gives people a great incentive to find ways of working better, because those improvements go back to them in the form of shorter weeks. Second, I think it shows that people have a greater sense of control over their time, which translates into lower stress levels about work.

D3vils_Adv0cate7 karma

Doesn't that seem like a biased result? Did the quantifiable output of their work concur with their survey response?

I'd imagine most workers want this change to go through so they'll say what they need to in order to secure the change. Also, how do you ensure even work output isn't an effect of people working harder during the trial to ensure this change stays?

Dale4dayWeek2 karma

They kept the same schedules, delivery dates, etc. And "people working harder during the trial to ensure this change stays" sounds rather like "an incentive."

Assuming you're asking whether people can game the trial to get a permanent shift, then slough off, I haven't seen a company where that's happened yet. In a few places the 4-day week has been killed off after a change in management or economic downturn, but the Hawthorne Effect seems to be a non-issue (so far at least), and companies do a few things to make the 4-day week something everyone earns, not something they're entitled to.

jhndflpp4 karma

so employees were asked to do equal work in less time and they were more likely to feel like they had enough time to get their work done? i agree it certainly sounds non-sensical. it's also hard not to assume that if there were relatively simple ways to increase efficiency that much, companies wouldn't already have implemented them to get that much more work out of their employees in five days. i'd love to see a similar data-point at a u.s. tech company.

Dale4dayWeek1 karma

Might check out Monograph or Cockroach Labs. Don't think they've done comparable studies, but they're two examples of US tech companies operating on 4-day weeks.

hako_london4 karma

How do you see it working for a factory where time is money? People will just get 2 jobs to cover the salary shortfall.

Dale4dayWeek15 karma

We don't work with companies that prorate wages as hours fall; we working with firms that aim to do the same work in 4 days, which eliminates the argument for cutting wages (other than "I want a second yacht").

As for factories, here are a few manufacturers that in recent years have moved to 4-day weeks without cutting salaries:

  • AE Harris, Birmingham UK: Precision custom metals
  • Barbaric, Linz Austria: Automated wood and glass handling systems
  • Belmont Packaging, Wigan UK: Plain and printed corrugated cardboard business
  • CMG Technologies, Rendlesham UK: medical scalpels, razors, precision metal injection molding
  • Dynamica Ropes, Taulov Denmark: maritime ropes
  • Pressure Drop Brewery, Tottenham UK: Beer (they're really good, I spent an afternoon there that I barely remember)
  • Kester Black, Melbourne AUS: lipstick, skin care, nail polish

Theonlykd3 karma

Can it work in a construction environment? I work for a subtrade and the general contractor has set working hours.. is there a way for the subs to incorporate 4day workweek? Would a split shift be required?

Dale4dayWeek9 karma

Lower adoption rates in construction wouldn't be a huge surprise given the erratic nature of the work and challenges with scheduling workers across multiple projects and sites.

However, Elektra Lighting in London has been doing a 4-day week for years. They're a lighting consultancy that does a lot of work with hotels, restaurants, resorts, and other venues, and they've figured out how to make it work.

Founder Neil Knowles wrote a detailed 3-part series about the shift on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/i-introduced-4-day-week-my-company-how-did-turn-out-neil-knowles/

DangerMacAwesome3 karma

How would a 4 day work week function in the public sector, especially education?

Dale4dayWeek3 karma

The UAE moved schools and the public sector to a 4.5-day week in 2022 (I wrote about it here), and Iceland implemented "betri vinnutíma", which means better working hours, across their public sector in 2021 (it's often mis-reported as 4-day weeks, but the number of hours vary depending on job, whether it's day or night shift, etc.).

Earlier threads on schools:

DesignHead92062 karma

A core (and very questionable) aspect of capitalism is that it's based on competition, not on collaboration (Darwin vs Margulis). I am not an expert in economy but from the little I know I have the impression that the capitalist system is based on inflation and it can't work without constant expansion, although some lukewarm regulations exists to avoid absolut monopoly.
I can imagine the 4 days system to work in smaller Companies that manage to survive without ambitions of expansion. The Chips and Fish example you gave in another comment for example. In other words, if the Company wants to keep a Status Quo rather than "growing". In that case, it could be possible to pay the same money for less hours and it's reasonable that productivity would "stay the same".
But many people are greedy. They want more and more. They would not want people to do the same in less time. They would want people to do more in the same time.
Why should these people adopt the 4 days system?
And, besides the "make them see that it's good for the Company" kind of argument, is there also an ethical talk about it? Like, "it's not so important if it's better or the same or a little worse, it's just needed and it must happen because people can't spend their life working"?

Dale4dayWeek10 karma

I agree with a lot of your commentary. I think fundamentally we are operating in an industrial revolution style of working, founded on Taylorism's principles of how to gain as much utility out of a physical worker before they go beyond repair and cause injury.

That model clearly isn't working for today's workforce - work is a lot more cognitive, people have to grapple with a more complex workplace and society. Fatigue and burnout are significant productivity hindrances - and i think once leaders see the benefit of reducing burnout, through interventions like reduced working hours, they'll also see the benefits for their own businesses outcomes. This is very much - 'less is more' because our brain has a finite capacity.

We're trying to build 'high performance' but look at any sector where 'high performance' is expected e.g. elite sports, aviation etc. and you'll see the importance of rest and recovery in that equation.

DesignHead92060 karma

You did not mention the ethical aspects.
I can imagine that in America (undisputed Kindom of capitalism) the only way to reach the 4 days week is by convincing Companies that high-performance requires rest, that less is more, that there will be benefits for their outcomes.
But in more progressive and socialist Countries like north European ones, other arguments would imo play a deciding role, eg the ethical fairness of work-life balance, workers' rights, quality of life, etc.
How do you approach the cultural, social and political differences of different Countries when introducing the 4 weeks idea?
Or is your work mostly based in the USA?

Dale4dayWeek4 karma

There are a few national differences in policy conversations around the 4-day week. In Japan and Korea, for example, proponents of a 4-day week highlight that it would make it easier to start families while allowing women to stay in the workforce, which follows a bigger argument they've been having about population growth. And of course there's an ethical or philosophical argument to be made for the benefits of a shorter workweek, or greater respect for the value of leisure time (Tricia Hersey's recent REST IS RESISTANCE makes this case, though you can go back to Josef Pieper's LEISURE: THE BASIS OF CULTURE, or Aristotle).

But regardless of nationality, the business owners we talk to are all worried about the same things, and want the 4-day week for the same reasons. They certainly acknowledge the benefits of more free time, but they also have a fiduciary obligation to make it work. (And perhaps some of them might make the case that creating jobs or helping make work better are ethical acts).

DesignHead92062 karma

I work with Systemic Organizational Development. It's not easy to convince business people of how the healthiness of the relational dynamics in the team is crucial to the long-term success of a Company.
Why should they want to believe it, when the example they have of "successful" businesses are ethical nightmares like Facebook, Twitter, Amazon?
Probably, an important aspect of the talk about 4 weeks is the definition of 'successful' business.

Well, we live in a prolific time of changes.

Dale4dayWeek2 karma

I think all the companies we work with have already bought into the Carol Dweck / Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi / Amy Wrzesniewsk worldview that companies will thrive in the long run if they have happy teams, people who find their work meaningful, etc.. So you're right, companies with well-developed pipelines that let them chew through large numbers of Ivy League and Oxbridge grads don't have a lot of incentive to change.

But the good news is that that still leaves tons of companies that do see the value of a 4-day week, and value the benefits it brings to everyone!

ANewOof2 karma

How could you implement this in an environment that has daily activity and low workforce, like a craft cannabis facility?

Dale4dayWeek3 karma

Would need to know more about the specifics of how it operates. My first thought is that there are a couple craft breweries that have moved to 4-day weeks, and they might offer a model:

Peetah132 karma

How could this work in 24/7 industries like music? Record labels, agencies, etc. Seems like there are too many moving parts to take a day off.

Dale4dayWeek5 karma

On the grounds that creativity is continuous and unruly, or that the industry just moves too fast for people to ever take a break? I don't know anything about the music industry (haven't even watched Entourage), so I'm curious to hear more...

PeanutArtillery2 karma

I run a lawncare company. How would you go about implementing a four day work week in this business while staying competitive and generating the same revenue?

Dale4dayWeek2 karma

Every 4-day week is different, so we'd need to dive into the specifics; but I will say that there are an interesting variety of companies doing it. For example, there's a pest control company that moved to a 4-day week (hear them talk about how they did it).

Ok-Feedback56041 karma

Do govts support 4 day weeks concept?and how much success you've gained to convince organization or govt to adapt this idea?

Dale4dayWeek1 karma

In the US, there are a few politicians who introduced legislation in state-level sessions this year, but it's early days. The good news is that there's interest in running state-level trials (on the theory that this might work in Manchester England, but not in Manchester New Hampshire), and a conversation about which instruments-- law, regulation, taxation, etc.-- would create the fewest unintended consequences. Once people start in on those kinds of arguments about the 4-day week, that's a good sign that they see it as viable.

tillybowman1 karma

i work 80%, which means i could scrap a day or work five days less long. what would you recommend?

also if (obviously) the answer is four: is there a difference in when to take the extra day? split it 3/4, or 2/1/2/2 or else?

Dale4dayWeek2 karma

It's not yet clear whether there are benefits to working 4-day weeks versus 6-hour days. People have strongly-held beliefs about the each, but we don't yet have good measures of what factors make one preferable, more restorative, etc.

In companies that move to 4-day weeks and give everyone the option of taking any day off, 60% of people go for Fridays, and about 20% for Mondays. So people tend to vote for 3-day weeks over midweek breaks.

PeanutSalsa1 karma

Do 4 day work weeks work better with big companies like large corporations over small businesses? And is it feasible for small businesses to implement a 4 day work week and still run their businesses successfully, or maybe it would vary by business?

Dale4dayWeek3 karma

So far, most of the companies that have moved to 4-day weeks are smaller; they have founder-CEOs who want the shorter week for themselves, and have the power to say "we're going in this new direction, make it happen." Bigger companies take longer to decide and implement; but they can do it too. (Ford Motor Company spent 3 years transitioning to a 5-day week in the 1920s!)

freddyburner001 karma

How many years would you anticipate that 4-day workweek could be the norm for western society?

Dale4dayWeek1 karma

Great question!

I would say that if there's one good thing to come from the pandemic, it was that we discovered that we can change how we work faster and more profoundly than we ever thought possible in January 2020 (caveats for those many jobs where physical presence is non-negotiable, etc etc.).

The cautious estimate would be... decades, maybe? The optimistic might be... a decade or less (recognizing that governments move at different paces, national preferences for legislative vs policy vs tax incentives, etc etc ad infinitum)?

thebiglebowskiisfine1 karma


Dale4dayWeek0 karma

We're advocating for shorter working hours without a cut in pay, or a reduction in output-- removing working hours but not doing it in a way that messes up supply chains.

To your second point: there are companies that have implemented 4-day weeks with the aim of getting people back in the office for a few days a week. The bargain is, the workweek is shorter, but we're physically back together for X days.

BlaseRaptor5441 karma

Hi! Thanks for offering your time!

Do you find people ‘rush’ things especially on the 4th day given that the 3 day weekend is ahead of them and people are still kinda used to 5 days?

Dale4dayWeek0 karma

Takes some time to adjust to the new schedule, but people figure it out. And the pace of work does sometimes increase, but in places where employees have control over redesigning their working schedule, they're less likely to experience it as stressful (see this comment for an example).

Orvetion1 karma

Would you think this is also applicable to primary education? Would the teachers and children both have 4 days or would children remain going to school for 5?

I know some teachers that struggle to complete all the necessary subjects before the end of the curriculum even though they work 5 days with a single class.

Dale4dayWeek1 karma

A lot would depend on how the school day is redesigned, and what teachers are able to do with the fifth day.

There are a studies that have looked at a relationship between shorter workweeks in education and learning outcomes are mixed right now. Here are a couple different studies:

whyisthissoharder1 karma

Have companies that you help, struggle with rationalizing 4x10 hours vs 4x8 hours? Is it better for people to adopt shorter work weeks longer hours vs total reduction in hours?

Dale4dayWeek2 karma

This is a great question, and one that's not very well-studied yet.

We haven't been able to compare different kinds of work time reductions across comparable institutions-- say, having the London office of Gigantic Corp. move to a 4-day week, the New York office to 6-hour days, Singapore to a 9-day fortnight, and Frankfurt to 4 10-hour days, then study the heck out of all of them and compare. I would love to see that.

From what I can tell, people either love or hate 4 10-hour days, and it depends on whether you like 3-day weekends more than you dislike longer days.

comix_corp0 karma

  1. Why is your strategy dedicated to convincing business owners to switch to this model? Fighting for fewer working hours and better conditions is something the union movement has been doing for two centuries – why pivot to the employers rather than the workers?

  2. I work as a storeman in a busy retailer and if something like a four day week was implemented, my employers would just use it to make me work harder and faster – since the amount of stock, orders to process etc isn't going down, they'd just make me do five days work in four which would make my job even more stressful. How do you propose to overcome this problem?

  3. How do you propose to deal with the widespread use of casual/temp labour who are paid based on variable hours worked? How would the four day week deal with this problem?

Dale4dayWeek1 karma

  1. The recent innovation around the 4-day week has mainly been coming from small, non-unionized businesses (like the one owned by 4 Day Week Global's cofounder Andrew Barnes, which implemented a 4-day week in 2018). I would love to see unions making a stronger case for shorter workweeks, and for businesses to see that there are benefits for companies and founders and everyone else. The 4-day week will become the norm sooner if it's not seen as a concession extracted from management, but as something that can benefit everyone.

  2. Would need to look at your and everyone else's job to understand more.

  3. It doesn't solve every problem in the labor market, but reducing turnover is one of the main reasons companies try it, so that suggests that the 4-day week isn't makeing casualization worse.

Kelter_Skelter0 karma

I work in food service. What have you learned that I can use to convince my workplace to move to 4 days?

Dale4dayWeek1 karma

Hey there! I gave a good example of a food service industry above - but essentially one of the key things we see in some of the bars and restaurants is things like we’ve seen automate table bookings and payments, and reduce the length of time from the till to the table, so they can still serve as many customers, just in a shorter time frame.

Some good of restaurants:

Tempura Tendon Tenya
The Dandy Collection (which owns several restaurants)
Coriander Leaf Group (ditto)

Kelter_Skelter4 karma

Our business has seen an uptick in online, phone, text and even AI assisted ordering but at the store level it's more and more work on less and less people to keep running the store. making it easier to order isn't helping our labor. We need help making the orders. More orders in less time by the same number of employees is only increasing our stress. I'm confused.

Dale4dayWeek1 karma

Sounds like you're already short on labor, and if that's the case, your business may need to deal with that first; or if you have high turnover, take the leap and hope that a shorter week improves retention.

Ani_mental0 karma

Do you think this could be brought about in the form of legislation with special emphasis on the current political scenario and the intense lobbying present in the legislative bodies?

Dale4dayWeek2 karma

This past year there were a number of US state legislative proposals to trial 4-day weeks, or adopt it in the public sector; and CA Rep Mark Takano has been proposing federal legislation to reduce the workweek. These things often take a few sessions to pass, but the fact that Maryland, California, Mass., New York, Hawaii, and others have discussed it suggests that something may pass next year. And once one state does it, others are likely to follow.

holycrapitsmyles0 karma

Would schools be able to go to 4 day weeks?

Dale4dayWeek1 karma

Yes, and many districts in the United States have; but the biggest challenge is that parents are still on a 5-day week, and so they have to come up with another day of child care.

Scarletfapper0 karma

Do you have offices in many other countries? Or post covid I suppose WFH teams overseas?

Dale4dayWeek2 karma

4 Day Week Global itself is entirely remote: we have people in New Zealand, Ireland, the UK, US, and Brazil, and one person who seems to call in from a different country every week. We also have national partner organizations with whom we work: the 2022 trial in the UK was co-organized with Autonomy UK, our South Africa pilot was organized with 4 Day Week South Africa, etc.

ADKTrader1976-11 karma

So how does this work you want people to work less, get paid more all while being less productive ? I fall to see how this benefits or adds any value into society.

Dale4dayWeek5 karma

We don't want people to be less productive (there is a degrowth / slow world argument that says that would be a good thing, but we're not making it); companies that move to shorter weeks are showing that it's possible to reduce waste and inefficiency in time, and return that to workers. Pay and output are the same, or in some cases rise indirectly (since you might be commuting fewer days, or paying for less child care, or as a company are spending less on recruiting and training new employees).

BathroomGooner-14 karma

Why do you want to force so many working class families into poverty by preventing them from working a 5 day week?

Dale4dayWeek7 karma

We're making the case for a reducing in working hours without a cut in pay. There are places that are moving to 4-day weeks or 6-hour shifts for hourly workers and are keeping their pay the same. If a boss wants to use a shorter workweek to reduce payroll, they don't work with us.