4 days work: what about 6 hours daily work?

I believe there's a lot of discussion and even attempts of implementing 4 days work and 3 days off, which I believe is great! This is definitely something will bend over time as we move away from a learn how to do things into a new get it done right at first. With this in mind, I have a couple of thoughts I would like to share with my audience.

4 days work

For business owners and managers, it's very scary to think of a week of 4 days. The dependencies of this are just massive: suppliers, customers, shifts, sync time zones, deliver things on time, keep doing things as we are, etc. This is a very hard to think situation, let alone implement it. You really need a framework of resources and tools to allow to provide the same quality of products and services with much less time. My first thought is, "this will require hire more people to achieve the same thing", meaning more costs to have the same goals. The philosophy behind this mindset is exactly the opposite:

  • people will hard less hours but they will work harder and more focused, being more productive.

And I agree. This is all true. So, why don't companies just implement this? In my opinion, it's just scary! Here's my suggestion: let's do 6 or 7 hours of daily work across 5 days a week. Reducing one or two hours a day will do the difference and it's not that scary as 4 days work for business owners and management.

👩‍🔬 Productivity

This is a very well known issue and it's a never ending discussion. Just to keep it short, why not cut the non-productive stuff from your daily work and just focus 6 hours of your time doing what you're really good at? Now, instead of spending 8 (or more) hours in the office / home-office in:

  • reading and catching up emails
  • replying to emails previously read
  • attending meetings where your contribution is close to 0
  • building budgets (documents, presentations, <<whatever-fits-your-reality-here) that no one will pay attention to

To sum up, why not cut all the waste of your daily routine? This is a very personal and not a "one rules fits all" idea. Depends on multiple factors, culture, country, age, clima, etc.

🧮 Math

Implementing a 4 days works pretty much is set your working hours as:

    4 days * 8 hours = 32 working hours

All of this, without commute time in mind. So, 4 days week is the equivalent of 32 hours work weekly. All great. Now, let's this 5 working days with 6 hours daily.

    5 days * 6 hours = 30 working hours

Impressive, right? Sounds like those ads where try to sell you the 6 pack, leading you to think the 6 pack is cheaper than individual packages but they are not 😅.

This is my reasoning to defend a first 6 daily working hours instead of 4 working days. And please, don't get me wrong, I would love 4 working days and 3 off. It's just a big mindset change and I believe, most of us are not ready for that. The initial hype would be amazing but over time it would be counterproductive, leading organisations and small business to spend more to achieve the same. Why not first change into a 6 or even 7 daily working hours? Wouldn't be softer change?


Another thought, why do we all need to clock in at 9:00 AM and clock out at 5:00 PM? Maybe some persons are more morning persons, others afternoon or even night owls. There are tons of business that can perform the same job with different working hours. Of course there's meetings to attend, sync needed, etc. Those will be the common parts. Let us think in the tradicional working hours.

Graph 1

This is what usually happens within organisations. Some of this time is wasted on things I've mentioned previously. Now, let's think in change schedules slightly, as people see fit. This will allow people to work on a "more perfect" environment, avoid noisy and useless meetings, etc.

Graph 2 

And I say, why not? It's a mindset shift from "I need to control my people" into "get things done and deliver". Mixing all of this together with 6 working hours daily, I believe we tend to be more productive and deliver more. Let's give people more responsibility, more autonomy. With that also comes accountability and deliveries.