A few years ago, I made a small note on my website declaring that ‘Fridays are for study‘. That lasted all of two weeks. It was really hard to set boundaries for my clients and for myself, and to stick to them. Fast forward a year, when I began working part-time for an agency who had been successfully implementing the 4-day workweek. Because I still had my own private clients,  I felt I needed to continue working on Fridays. However, my team at the agency would exchange well wishes for the upcoming weekend every Thursday, and aside from the obvious FOMO I experienced, it got me thinking…

Gradually, I started including my 4-day workweek hours in my email signature. I initially stopped working earlier in the afternoon on Fridays, then slowly decreased the number of hours I worked on Fridays until it was just the mornings before my boxing training. Eventually, I took the big step of activating my out-of-office message on Thursday evenings and not opening my laptop on Fridays. I also removed email and Skype notifications from my mobile phone.

My clients showed immense respect for my four-day workweek, with some even emailing me on Thursdays to wish me a happy weekend. Of course, some forget at times, but then they get my out-of-office. This change in my life has been positive and liberating.

The four-day workweek pilot

From March to August in 2023, 28 South African businesses and one Botswanan businesshad the opportunity to participate in a four-day workweek pilot. According to the press release from Hazel Gavigan of Four Day Week, the report emphasised that companies rated their experience highly with a satisfaction score of 7.7 out of 10 in terms of business productivity, performance, and talent attraction. Additionally, an overwhelming 92% expressed their definite intention to continue with the four-day week.

Here are some stats that stood out:

  • Resignations decreased by an average of 11%
  • Absenteeism reduced by 9%
  • Revenue saw a weighted average increase of 10.5%
  • 90% of employees expressed interest in maintaining the 4-day workweek after the trial

You can read the full press release here.

The Value of a Day Off

The impact of having a shortened work schedule cannot be overstated. While others are still grinding through the week, I relish an extra day of personal freedom and self-care every Friday. Initially, I used this time to catch up on errands, which helped alleviate the stress that builds up during a busy week but I soon discovered the benefits of using this time for ‘me time’.

I now use my Friday mornings to go for boxing lessons, and I use my middays for mental health. After that, I’m free to go to the gym, play games, do some gardening, go shopping, or, dare I say, take an afternoon nap!

Productivity and Work-Life Balance

The conventional workweek format has long been scrutinised for its impact on stress levels, mental health, and overall work satisfaction. However, these concerns can be systematically addressed with a four-day workweek. Reducing hours promotes a healthier work-life balance and, as research suggests, increases engagement.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that when employees feel in control of their time and energy, their ability to contribute at a higher level is enhanced. They no longer view work solely as a means to earn a paycheck but instead find a sense of fulfilment and purpose in their contributions.

Surprisingly, my productivity didn’t suffer from the reduced hours. Instead, I realised that I could accomplish in four days what used to take me five. It may seem counterintuitive, but the pressure of a condensed workweek has sharpened my focus and prioritisation. I tackle each task without the nagging awareness of time slipping away. This shift has significantly boosted my energy, mood, and creativity.

This new arrangement has breathed new life into the Fridays that were once consumed by work and through this process I have discovered a profound sense of calm and control over my life.

“58% of employees said they would choose a 4-day workweek over a pay raiseStatista

The Ripple Effect of Positivity

The four-day workweek has a tangible impact on the morale and engagement of the entire workforce. It serves as a testament to trust and value, signifying that productivity is gauged not by mere presence, but by tangible results. This system cultivates an intentional culture where every working hour is purposeful, harnessing each employee’s unique strengths.

From chats with friends and other four-day working folks, they express feeling more rejuvenated, creative, and enthusiastic about contributing. It has set off a cascade of positivity, inspiring each of them to strive for excellence, bolstered by their employer’s and clients’ support and understanding.

Furthermore, this model has the potential to attract and retain top talent. In a fiercely competitive job market, companies prioritising employee well-being and work-life balance are better positioned to recruit highly skilled professionals and retain their loyalty.

The impact of implementing a four-day workweek extends far beyond mere surface-level advantages. It creates a ripple effect that resonates throughout the entire organisation, cultivating a more dynamic and engaged workforce.

“71% of companies say a four-day workweek helps them attract and retain employees with children and other care responsibilities.” Zippia

Fears vs. Reality

Certainly, a four-day workweek presents its fair share of challenges. Some individuals may be concerned about effectively managing workloads or maintaining customer service. However, these concerns can be overcome. They require a shift in how we perceive and approach our work. Implementing staggered schedules and careful planning can mitigate potential disruptions for direct customer interaction roles. It primarily boils down to smart time management and clear communication in all other positions.

Transparency is paramount. Employers must clearly communicate their expectations, while employees must grasp the importance of efficiency. When these conditions are met, the viability of a four-day workweek becomes evident.

Here are some tips to persuade your boss to implement a four-day week.

“Redefining work as a means to live rather than living to work.”


Introducing a four-day workweek has proven to be a resounding success for me. It extends beyond the appeal of having more time off, although that is undeniably wonderful. It is about elevating the overall quality of my life. It entails redefining work as a means to live rather than living to work.

I sincerely hope that more companies will consider the potential of alternative work models, such as the four-day workweek. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of this transformative change (even if I created it for myself), and I strongly encourage others to consider the many benefits it can bring to their work and life.