The 4-day workweek is not the future of work. Flexibility is

The conventional 9-to-5 work day is full of inefficiencies. 

And clearly, I’m not the just one who thinks this. From corporations like Unilever and Kickstarter, to whole governments like Japan and Spain, many are claiming {that a} 4-day workweek is the future of work. 

I believe they’re optimizing for the mistaken factor. As an alternative of altering the amount of work we’re doing, we should be enthusiastic about the high quality


Merely shortening the quantity of days we work received’t remedy our drawback. In actual fact, it would even enhance stress and burnout: squeezing extra conferences right into a shorter quantity of days means there’s even much less time to focus and get artistic, considerate work carried out. 

No, much less working days isn’t the reply. What do we actually want? Extra versatile work. 

Why concentrate on flexibility?

We are able to all see that the Great Resignation is taking place. I believe the rigidness in our conventional work schedules is an enormous half of it. The 5-day work week has been round for over a hundred years

However a lot about work and the workforce has modified since then. For jobs carried out on computer systems, why are we forcing ourselves into strict schedules that don’t accommodate our variations and wishes? 

We not solely can however ought to be extra versatile. In a Gartner survey, 43% of respondents stated that versatile working hours helped them be extra productive. But it surely’s not nearly productiveness—it’s about happiness too. Over half of employees surveyed from round the world would take into account leaving their job after the pandemic if they’re not given some type of flexibility in the place and once they work. 

Our take a look at with versatile work

For my firm, Entrance, we began an experiment in spring of 2021. It’s referred to as Versatile Fridays. Each Friday, workers are unreachable. No conferences, no expectation to reply messages or emails. They will work, or they will do anything they need. 


Our considering was this: if we might show that the workforce might be simply as productive whereas introducing some flexibility throughout the week, that’d be wonderful for our workers and firm tradition. It might additionally give us a powerful edge for hiring. Whereas competing for expertise with corporations like Apple and Google which have infinite money, we might supply candidates extra time—one thing these tech giants can’t fairly match. 

Associated: Get your boss to think about a 4-day workweek

With Versatile Fridays, we have been aiming for little to no disruption to the enterprise; we wished to have the ability to serve clients, execute on an formidable product roadmap, and preserve common interview schedules with candidates. The purpose was to offer everybody a day of deep work and focus, whereas stopping burnout and selling work-life stability. 

The outcomes: effectivity and stability

Versatile Fridays pressure us to battle inefficiency. Fewer days to satisfy means it is advisable have fewer, extra productive conferences. And on Fridays, when you select to work, you’ve got a full day of uninterrupted deep focus time.

The workforce felt aid to have a day the place they might work if wanted, but nothing was anticipated of them. In case you want centered time, you’ve all the time acquired it. And if you wish to spend time together with your youngsters or take a motorcycle trip or go to a dentist appointment, you are able to do that guilt-free.

We surveyed our workforce all through our 6-month trial. Outcomes have been overwhelmingly constructive: 95% of workers have seen no impression to collaboration with their colleagues, and 89% say they work happier as a result of of Versatile Fridays. However maybe the factor I’m most proud of is this: 87% say Versatile Fridays have positively impacted their need to remain put at Entrance. 

One teammate gave us the suggestions: “Versatile Fridays have modified my life for the higher. I actually can’t recover from the impression this has had on my general well-being. Don’t get me mistaken—I work 80% of my flex Fridays like I’d a traditional workday, however when Thursday evening comes round, I really feel (mentally) free.”

Flexibility breeds productiveness

I imagine that Versatile Fridays give workers the means to work the means that works greatest for them whereas additionally creating construction to the week that we don’t have with full time distant work. What if Friday grew to become a no-meeting, no-email, no-chat day throughout all industries? How rather more productive might all of us be?

Mathilde Collin is CEO and cofounder of Front, a buyer communication platform.