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Working a 4-day week is the norm

I began my career working a 5-day week but expect to end it working a work 4-day week (being self-employed). Recently, a UK call centre is moving from a 37.5-hour week to a 30-hour week; it will need a 20% increase in productivity to maintain business performance. Bosses believe greater use of data analytics and the web means fewer calls. Would you like to work a 4-day week for the same pay?


Union Power

Eight in ten workers want to reduce working time, with 45% of workers wanting to work a 4-day week, without loss of pay. This is possible with new technology and smarter ways of working. The Trade Union Congress (TUC) states that the UK should consider how to move to a 4-day week.

What is a 4 Day Work Week?

We are used to a 5-day (35 hours) week, but employees would work around 28 hours across 4 days and have a long weekend.

Advantages of a shorter week

  • Increased Productivity means that staff are more productive than employees working a 5-day week. A trial in a New Zealand also showed improvements in job satisfaction.
  • An Equal Workplace, as a 4-day week would allow employees to spend more time with their families and better juggle care commitments.
  • Better Employee Engagement with happier and committed employees. Less days lost to stress and sick leave.
  • A Lower Carbon Footprint, offering an environmental benefit by saving a commuter day per week.


  • Requires the right management support, technology and workplace culture to make it a success.
  • Customer Satisfaction can suffer if the service standards drop off with fewer staff manning fewer service hours.
  • Confusion as many workers think that 4-day work week is a compressed 5-day week; impacting employee engagement, work-life balance and overall happiness.

If like me, you may be programmed to believe that working longer and harder is an achievement, what does the future hold? New Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is set to dominate many work places in the next 20 years. This will impact humans, so we need to decisions as to how best protect human employees. A 4-day work week makes it possible for business to run, while humans can still have good careers with a better work/life balance. It should be easier to recruit new talent and retain valuable staff, both men and women.

Whether you work a 5 or 4-day week, ChildMax pays your take home salary while you’re on 12 months’ unpaid leave looking after a sick child. Once agreed, ChildMax pays your claim within 30 days and you can choose to return to work on a part-time or other basis.

Visit at or call the UK call centre 0333 323 0098 for more information.



Date: 03 June 2019 by Max Robinson