More workers start working four days a week and earn 100% wages 80% of the time in a move that can significantly change the balance between work and life.

In the UK, more than 3,000 workers from 70 companies start a four-day week. 4DayWeek Global will host a 6-month trial in collaboration with think tank Autonomy, the 4 Day Week UK campaign, and researchers at the University of Cambridge. Oxford University and Boston University.

While in Ireland, 17 companies have already participated in international pilots aimed at introducing working hours four days a week.

The question is, what activists and workers really want is a move to really promote health and well-being. Or will it take less time to do the same amount of work?

More time for you

Jeremy Snape, founder of performance consultancy SportingEdge (, said: Catch up with that extra day or move on. “

Can working hours four days a week help balance work and life?

Instead, he believes he can spend more time on other useful things in a four-day week. Perhaps “helping exercise classes, outdoor activities, long weekend breaks, reunions with family and friends, opportunities to work on community projects, or maybe older relatives.”

By spending more time outside the office, Snape does not see “who we are” as “what we do for work”, but “different identities in life.” It suggests that it can give the perspective of having.

“Working for four days gives us three days to focus on other areas of our personal portfolio,” he adds. “Extra holidays give us time to look back on who we are and spend time on the projects we are passionate about, but because we need to eliminate our addiction to work. I think this will take some time. “

Rest and recovery

Snap said: “The main advantage of a four-day working week is a balance between cortisol-fueled fight-or-flight or rest and digestion modes. It increases our sense of autonomy for time and life. So, our emotional well-being is given more space and time to develop and prosper. ”In other words, stress management may be easier.

Pandemics can make it difficult for some people to maintain a healthy work-life balance, especially when working from home. For example, if you’re not physically away from work, it’s often not easy to “time” and you may have less time to recover from a busy week’s work.

“The slow pace of life gives us time to manage ourselves more efficiently,” says Snape. “By making our lives more autonomous, we have the opportunity to control and manage stress on our own terms, rather than feeling that we are doing a relentless hamster job. , Self-care may be born. “

Other possible benefits are also mentioned, such as reduced childcare costs for working families.

What about the drawbacks?

But not everyone thinks it’s all. There are also concerns about the potential negative impact of a four-day working week, both in terms of productivity and well-being. This includes suggestions that some people may find it more stressful to keep all the work in four days.

“The pandemic required us to rethink employee well-being,” said Paula Allen, Global Leader and Senior Vice President of Research and Total Well-Being at LifeWorks ( answer.

Will short working weeks be more stressful for some?

“Some people say they’re dealing with the wrong problem,” says Allen. “This month, we surveyed the well-being of 2,000 British workers in the LifeWorks Mental Health Index, and they actually prioritized flexible work schedules and work freedom, rather than just saving time. I was there.

“Reducing working weeks is not an end in itself. Employers need to be aware that things have changed and not lose sight of less radical proposals in the meantime.”

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