Data From Three Years of Working a Four Day Work Week

Rate this post

Since we adopted a four-day work week in 2020, everyone has been getting on the train from different industries and countries. Most notably, however, and the reason we have gathered today, is the UK’s four-day weekly experiment which has yielded positive results. It also proves what we already know: that we work four days a week works.

With the four-day work week gaining traction around the world, we thought it was time to check in, once again, with the folks at Buffer about what it’s like to work four days a week.


We implemented a four-day weekly experiment in May 2020 to test its effects on our collective well-being, mental health, and personal relationships.

The experiment wasn’t intended to track its effects on productivity, so we set low expectations around this measure, but we were pleasantly surprised by the results.

At that time, our chief of staff, Carolyn Koppraschwrote, “…due to increased rest and reflection, many of you have shared that you feel your weekly productivity was not as different and your quality of work was higher while experiencing overall well-being get well”.

Finally, we moved to a four-day work week for the rest of 2020 and are now approaching the three-year mark.

We’ve consulted with our team several times since implementing the four-day work week, enough to know that it works. But the recent surge in interest got us thinking: How do we feel about the four-day, three-year work week?

This led us to release a survey completed by 53 Buffer employees (out of a total of 78), 60 percent of whom have been at Buffer for more than three years, which is how long we’ve been running the work week of four days This is what they had to say.

Everyone loves the four-day work week

Unsurprisingly, 100% of respondents said they would like to continue working remotely for the rest of their careers.

This is in line with the results of the UK experiment, with 90 per cent of employees saying they definitely want to continue a four-day week with no one saying they definitely don’t want to continue.

Most employees, 78.8 percent, work four days a week OR five days shorter, up from 73 percent the last time we surveyed. Meanwhile, 21 percent work more than four days a week, down from 27 percent the last time we did this survey.

We can infer from this that the time spent working a four-day work week has allowed each person to figure out what works best for their schedule. We can also connect this result to internal expectations adjusted for the four-day work week.

As Carolyn explains, “We’ve slightly adjusted the expectations for the fifth day to be more of an ‘overflow’ day if needed. This is in line with our usual flexibility, but managers are now more explicit: we encourage colleagues to work this fifth day if they choose or if necessary, depending on their workload or the needs of the team.(If not necessary, the partner is encouraged to take it off completely as usual.) Work on the fifth day is not necessarily a system failure or a problem. It’s just not expected or required as in a five-day-a-week work environment.”

Burnout has no place in the four-day work week, say 100% of Buffer colleagues

We think and talk a lot about burnout here at Buffer, so it’s encouraging to see teammates not feeling burned out working a four-day work week. The majority, 73.1%, of peers reported feeling more energized, while 26.9% did not feel particularly different.

The UK experiment had similar results: 71 percent of employees had reduced burnout levels by the end of the trial.

Additionally, 99.1 percent of teammates are less stressed since starting a four-day work week.

Measured against trial respondents, 39 percent of whom said they were less stressed, this may seem like an outlier. However, it is important to note that Buffer is remote i run a four-day work week. This is probably an important factor in the decrease in stress levels found among respondents.

Balancing work and family life is one of the main benefits of the four-day work week

The majority of Buffer colleagues, 61.5 percent, find it easier to balance work and life. One teammate specifically noted, “Fridays are more time during normal business hours to handle the ‘admin’ of my personal life.”

A healthier work-life balance is also reflected in UK test results, with 60 per cent of trial respondents reporting an increased ability to combine paid work with care responsibilities and 62 percent who reported that it was easier to combine work with their social life.

The shortened work week is not without its challenges

Although 65.4 percent of teammates are able to complete their work in four days, 40.4 percent feel that they cannot complete all of their work in that time frame. However, as Carolyn pointed out, we encourage using the fifth day as an overflow day, which 61.6 percent of peers find they have to do most or some of the time.

The downsides of operating both a remote and four-day-a-week work system are also reflected in the survey responses, with teammates highlighting that making connections with co-workers is a challenge.

One respondent stated: “Remote working combined with a 4-day working week means connecting with team members sometimes takes a backseat to ensuring work gets done.” Another shared, “You gave up some of the things that aren’t critical to your job, but were kind of fun to do at work.”

Other notable challenges include:

  • Time management: “Manage my time well during the four days to account for one less day.”
  • Overwhelming meeting times: “It’s almost impossible to have a day without meetings with a condensed schedule.”
  • Feeling isolated from other peers if you work less than usual hours

Many people use their free time for non-work activities

The UK experiment found that most people do not use their extra day off to do paid work elsewhere. They use it for hobbies and leisure, housework and care, and personal maintenance.

The same is true at Buffer: A teammate pointed out that they use their day off to admin for life, specifically mentioning that they take care of things like grocery shopping and meal prep to fully enjoy themselves. of the weekend

We’ve covered how some teammates take advantage of their unique schedules; check out this article to read more.

We will continue to work the four-day work week

Overall, we’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response to the four-day work week. Reduced hours allow employees to focus on personal interests, hobbies and self-care during their extra day off. The life manager is best managed during a four-day work week – people have more time for their families and friends.

We have no plans to abandon a four-day work week; we’ll continue to refine our approach to ensure its success for both our teammates and Buffer as a whole. We hope to have more data on this new way of working and more companies to accompany us on this journey.


Anyone can repost this data. It comes through if you have more questions.

Source link

Leave a Comment