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Can a four day work week radically change your life?

Milena Regos

In a world obsessed with busyness and chasing success at all costs, we end up burnt out, stressed out, and lonely. At Unhustle, my vision is to shift this paradigm. It’s about finding the sweet spot between doing and real living, embracing a lifestyle that balances life enjoyment with purposeful achievement. This is the future I’m creating with Unhustle—a sustainable, prosperous future for ourselves, our families, communities, teams, companies, and the planet.

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Working 4 days a week can give you a competitive advantage with Andrew Barnes

The idea of the 4 day work week

After reading an article on the plane that UK employees are only productive about 3 hours a day, Andrew Barnes decided to experiment with his company Perpetual Guardian. He put all 240 employees on a 4 day work week with the same pay, expecting the same productivity. 

The expectation of working only 4 days a week

With all other things unchanged – the same pay provided, Andrew asked his 240 staff members to deliver the same output in 80% of the time. 

The results of the experiment

The concept of reducing time working and more time with family, hobbies, training, and well-being delivered significant results. 

  • Productivity increase of 20%.
  • Stress decrease, and customer engagement levels up 30%.
  • Revenues remained stable, and costs decreased. 
  • At the end of the trial, 78% of employees said they could successfully manage work-life balance compared to 54% before the trial.
  • Although his company deals with customers, he could come up with solutions that make his team and customers happier. 

You end up with better-trained employees, better focus while at work, happier customers, and higher productivity overall. 

The idea said Andrew is that we can trust people to do their jobs and measure productivity better. This change in the way we work gives companies the superpower they need during the COVID pandemic. 


The experiment of putting everyone on a 4 day work week while keeping their pay the same may have gone wrong. But it didn’t. 

We measure productivity by time put in instead of by outcome. It’s time to shift our perspective. Work from home is a great time to experiment and see if your team can benefit from working less.

A global survey by Gallup states that only 15% of the global workforce is engaged in work. It means that 85% of people worldwide hate their job or their boss. This may explain why global productivity has been in decline for decades. Perhaps a shorter workweek can reverse the statistics. 

With mental health and burnout on the rise, taking more time for well-being is not only critical, but it may give you the competitive edge you need to come strong out of the recession. The way we work today isn’t fit for the 21st century. It’s time to change our mindset. 

How to start working less

  • It starts at the top. Senior leaders have to walk the talk. Don’t send emails after hours and on weekends. Save them in draft mode and send them on Monday. 
  • You can’t expect your employees to be working fewer hours if you are putting in 100 hours a week.
  • Do a 30-day experiment and see how it works out. 
  • Figure out how to minimize meetings and other busy projects. 
  • Focus on the work that matters.
  • We like being busy at work. But there’s a difference between busyness and productivity.

Other People Are Doing It 

I recently listened to Greg McKeown interview Bank Betinez on how he took his team on the 4 day work week journey on the What’s Essential Podcast. Andrew is getting phone calls from 83 countries, asking him about the 4-day work week to support the effort. 

Listen to the Unhustle podcast with Andrew Barnes

You can listen to the full interview  with Andrew Barnes on The Unhustle Podcast or if you prefer, watch the video below.

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