Around my house, we have something called “Blake Friday.” My husband, Blake, a software consultant, works a “4-10” schedule – putting in four 10-hour days a week.
For me, Thursday nights are school nights. For Blake, they’re “Blake Friday.” Wine is sometimes involved, as is staying up late to indulge in a movie he knows I wouldn’t care to watch.
On Friday morning, he sashays off to the gym and then knocks out any errands and appointments he has on his to-do list. By the time he’s back home, puttering in the kitchen, his weekend is blissfully free. His hair is cut, the lawn is mowed, he’s had the car serviced – and he’s ready to relax. When we want to take a long weekend, his schedule is ready-made for action.
Four-day workweeks were in the headlines this week, sparked by Kickstarter’s announcement that they are moving to a four-day week…and are encouraging other companies to follow suit.
Companies that have implemented four-day weeks are reporting notable gains in productivity – 40% in the case of Microsoft Japan.
“Microsoft Japan experimented with a shorter workweek program, called “Work-Life Choice Challenge 2019 Summer.” The company gave its 2,300 employees the opportunity to “choose a variety of flexible work styles, according to the circumstances of work and life.” The goal of management was to see if there would be a corresponding increase in productivity and morale when hours are cut down. The results of the experiment were extremely positive—indicative that workers were both happier and 40% more productive.”
San Francisco-based Buffer reported positive results from its test of a 4-day week, including remarkable productivity gains, as well as significant reductions in employee stress.
“The four-day work week resulted in sustained productivity levels and a better sense of work-life balance. These were the exact results we’d hoped to see, and they helped us challenge the notion that we need to work the typical ‘nine-to-five,’ five days a week.”
More and more employees are likely to enjoy their own versions of “Blake Friday” as the case for switching to a 4-day work week gathers strength and momentum.
Hear more about who is embracing the 4 day work week and why in these articles from The Atlantic, Business Insider, and Fast Company.