The Four-day Workweek: Technology to Improve Your Life

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We have the technology to make you better than you were before. Better, stronger, faster. I’m no six million dollar woman, but I feel like a million bucks most days.

The reason: my four-day workweek.

Oddly enough, I’ve never worked harder at any job I’ve ever had. And I’m no slouch, mind you. I always do my best. But somehow my best got better. Monday still rolls around and I’m still tired, but my sense of dread is minimal at best. Thursday always comes sooner than Friday.

Better

My life has gotten considerably better since I began working at Q Digital Studio in Denver, Colorado. Not only because it’s the job of my dreams: writing and designing for a web studio, but also because it’s the first job I’ve ever had where I’ve been given a flexible work schedule and a four day work week.

I’m not writing to brag about how great my job is (though I easily could), or to make you feel bad that you have to work five days a week (I’ll try my best not to). I’m writing to give you hope that it doesn’t have to be all drudgery, and to inspire bosses everywhere to take note.

Stronger

In the first few years post university, I had a couple of rough jobs – jobs that I was well-suited to handle, but that made me so stressed out, that all I wanted to do was sleep all weekend. And sleep all weekend I’d do.

Now that I only work Monday – Thursday, I feel like I have more time to do things that I like. On Fridays can work on side projects. I can go for long walks and read at cafes. I can sleep all day if I want to. And I still have Saturday and Sunday. I feel healthier because my stress level is down and I can make more time to exercise and de-stress.

I’m a homebody by nature, and when I’m stressed out, my introvert colors really show. Now that I’m less stressed, I feel more able to take on the world, more willing to do things on work nights or get into shenanigans on the weekend.

Faster

I work faster because I don’t have to waste time. I can get a week’s worth of work done in four days. I always could. But the problem at past jobs was that I’d get it all done and they’d have nothing for me to do. Then I have to create more work for myself. And even then, I’d clean out the closet and still have time left over. But I couldn’t go home until five.

I no longer have to watch the seconds tick away, waiting for 5 o’clock to finally roll around. Not just because my day technically ends at 4 p.m., but also the fact that I’m usually pretty heavily engaged in what I do. It certainly helps that I love what I’m doing, but more importantly, I don’t feel like I’m forced to do it. If there’s no more work to be done today and I put in extra time yesterday, I’ll just go home.

I feel trusted by my boss, and in turn I make sure my actions reflect that I’m trustworthy. Trust begets trust.

Working for the four day week

Do I think that the world would be a better place if we all adopted the four-day workweek? Absolutely. Do you not?

A shorter workweek won’t solve all the world’s problems, sure. But will it make your world better? Oh yes. Like a giddy girl infatuated, I want everyone to share in the love and the joy of Monday – Thursday. The question then, is how do I spread the love? Is it possible to get more businesses to adapt the four-day workweek?

 

Lindsay McComb is a writer, editor and designer. She lives in Oakland, works in San Francisco and drinks a lot of coffee. Her work can be found at lindsaymccomb.com.

4 Comments

  1. djeef

    13 May, 2011 at 12:29 am

    Is this a four ten hour day week?

  2. Lindsay

    13 May, 2011 at 2:19 am

    Nope. Eight hours a day, from 8-4.

  3. EzraSF

    14 May, 2011 at 5:35 am

    A 32 hour work week would be awesome considering I just worked a 51 hour work week and have seen up to a 107 hour hour work week. (That last was not here. I left that job as unsustainable.)

  4. Rachel

    18 May, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    How does affect your pay? Surely, less hours equals less income? Do you know how your employers handle this in terms of numbers of staff, hourly pay rates, benefits, etc? I am a small business owner (so I work more hours than anyone!), and I have 12 employees and will be adding more positions in the near future. While I would love to offer this to the members on our team, I don’t see how it is possible financially. Plus, it necessitates a rapidly growing business to be devilishly organized and efficient, which, sorry to say, due to maxing all resources all the time, many small companies don’t have the luxury of time to GET organized. I love this idea, and I’m glad there is a place where this can happen. I’m sure that this can become the norm (and should in many cases), but from where I sit, it seems just a dream.