How to ask your employer for a 4 day work week

Working patterns are changing, from the mass implementation of remote work to the introduction of AI as part of companies’ toolkits. One of the biggest developments we’ve seen is the implementation of the 4 day work week across huge swathes of the workforce – and for good reason.

4 day work weeks promise benefits such as improved work-life balance and reduced costs, so transitioning should be a no-brainer for companies. If you believe your workplace could benefit from reducing the working week to four days, here’s how to ask your employer to make the transition.

What are the benefits of a 4 day week?

Before exploring the how, let’s start with the why. Knowing the benefits of the four day work week can help you make an informed argument to your employer. There’s a myth that implementing a 4-day work week can negatively impact a company’s productivity since employees have fewer hours in the day to get on with tasks. This assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, when Microsoft Japan tested a four day working week, productivity shot up by 40%.

As well as increased productivity, employers can benefit from reduced running costs. This is especially true if your company uses business premises that will close for one day per week. Plus, with staff turnover proving so challenging for managers and HR teams, differentiating your company from competitors is excellent for recruitment and retention. 

Employees benefit, too. Having a better work-life balance improves mental health, and happier employees mean a satisfied, more engaged workplace. With extra time to spend among family and friends, exercising, or taking part in well-being activities, employees’ health is likely to improve as a result of a shorter working week.

How to request a 4 day work week from your employer

Don’t base your request simply on a desire to work fewer days. Instead of approaching your employer with feelings, approach them with facts, such as how a four day work week can actually boost the company’s productivity. Present challenges that your company is facing, such as struggling to recruit, and explain how a shorter work week could be the solution.

Before approaching your employer, devise a strategy. A barrier to transitioning to a four day week for many employers is the logistics, so identify how a 4 day week can fit into your business’s strategy without disrupting sales. Discuss activities that could be eliminated from the workday to improve efficiency, or what can be outsourced or automated to make four days feasible.

Instead of asking your employer to make the switch immediately, request a trial period, during which the benefits can be proven. Establish metrics against which the trial can be assessed, such as productivity, sales, reduced costs, or employee satisfaction. If you face resistance from your employer, ask what would put their mind at ease, and outline the steps you’d take to make the transition easier.

Feeling inspired to ask your employer for a four day work week? Follow the lead of events platform, StreamGo, who successfully transitioned to a 4 day work week with incredible results.