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4 day weeks, 2 years in

Steve Gilles
May 9
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The job that upgrades your candidate’s life the most wins. Four day weeks aren’t new but they’re getting more attention. We’re joining the dance at 1min 15sec.

More people request four day weeks and nine day fortnights now, and we’re getting it for them. Right now these are similar to the remote work requests we saw in 2014: only a small number of companies offer it so those that do have a huge hiring advantage.

Four day weeks upgrade most employee’s lives. If your job offers that, it’s more compelling. You can always offer more money, but what’s more valuable than time?

Lookahead implemented four day weeks due to Covid in April 2020, and we soon realised they should stay. Like having the ability to work remotely, initially, you expect productivity to drop but it doesn’t happen. The buoyant market certainly helps, but 2021 results were our best ever and 2022 will be better again.

Some of our learnings:

  • Taking the same day off (Friday) helps. Some Fridays I get bored and reach for Slack. Fortunately, my colleagues aren’t in there so it gets me back to my long weekend.
  • Flexibility goes both ways. The original plan was to do four hard days Mon-Thu, and have life admin happen on Fridays. That didn’t make sense. Sometimes a specialist can only see you on a Wednesday, and sometimes a client needs a chat on a Friday.
  • 4 days paid work / 3 days side hustle leads to burnout. Productivity gains come from using that fifth day to reflect, recharge, do life admin, pursue a creative project, take a long lunch.
  • Everyone who has left us since April 2020 (not a huge sample size, fortunately) has negotiated a four day work week in heir new gig.

Read our latest 4-day work week update and industry insights.

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