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Four-day work week insights

Published: - 3 min read

Ever wondered how a little less work and a bit more spare time would affect you and your life? Here's Henrik's point of view.

Too long to read:

  • Less work means less money at the end of the month
  • No Friday feeling
  • Increased motivation and effectiveness
  • Learning new skills, work- and life-related
  • More time for me, family and friends
  • Less stress and tiredness

Background

For many years I've been thinking about how less work and more spare time would affect me and my life. To get to the point of going from thought to action – and asking my boss about it – took quite a while. 

At the end of 2019 I finally got around to ask – and there was no problem at all. So from January 2020, I've been working four days a week. Here are some of my insights, starting with a few downsides.

It's (not) all about the money

An obvious disadvantage of working less is that you get paid less, no matter how you spin it.

Although I now make less money, I've managed to save the same amount every month even after working less.

No Friday feeling

I choose Friday as my day off, I appreciate coherent time off and figured an extended weekend would suit me well. It sure does, but I miss out on that Friday feeling, although I get kind of the same feeling on Thursdays instead.

Now to the positives.

Increased motivation and effectiveness

I can't say that I get just as much work done in four days as in five but I do feel that I'm more motivated and effective during those four days.

For me, motivation is everything, if I'm not motivated my inspiration and creativity suffers, nowadays that rarely happens.

Developing new skills

Friday is my day for developing new skills, so far it's been mostly work related skills I've focused on, and it has paid off. This portfolio is a result of my Fridays off.

More time for me, family and friends

I'm the kind of person who needs personal space and Fridays are for that. I don't mind sitting alone for an entire day and digging into deep nerdy details of any kind.

I feel like I've been able to invest time in things that I didn't have the energy to prioritise before, things like talking to and visiting my grandparents, family and friends. I've always had a close relationship with the people around me, but the extra time has enabled me to invest even more time on that area.

Decreased stress levels and tiredness

Probably the most important aspect of this, another day off has helped me recharge my batteries before the weekend and also before heading into the next week. I feel less stressed overall.

I normally commute one and a half hours to work each way, practise soccer three times a week and play matches at the weekend . I am an overall ambitious dude. Before taking Fridays off, this constant stress affected me and my energy levels were often low, and in turn, my motivation and creativity suffered.

It won't be four days forever

All in all, it's been one of the best decisions I've made, I feel like I have a lot more work life balance. This will probably not last forever, but in periods, I definitely think that I will do four day work weeks, the pros outweigh the cons by miles.

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