I don’t know about you, but I’m fully over the whole 5 day working week. Maybe it was the impact of a Covid-pandemic that brought it on. Or current hustle culture where the working day seems to begin way ahead of the 9am start, rarely gets the opportunity to utilise that lunch break and regularly sees the hours rack up after finish time. Possibly I just hate Monday’s and it seems as good a time as any to totally get rid of them. But basically, I’m exhausted and over it and totally in for a 4 day working week!

It feels like the past few years have been especially overwhelming and there just hasn’t been a let up

From constant workplace changes, continuous reduced staffing leading to stress overload and that damn workload seems to forever increase and never decrease. It’s mentally and emotionally taxing and depleting. During the week I’ve barely got any energy left to do the things I love and unwind – things like writing blogs. And most of the time I struggle to even sort general life admin out. I’m so exhausted from doing the thing I like but ultimately do because it pays the bills and entirely depleted of any energy to do anything other than try and chill the fuck out once the working day is done.

The working week is a write off

Post work day, it’s basically a write off. I’ve taken to walking the dogs for a solid hour post 9-5 in order to try and clear my head. If that doesn’t do it, a run de-stresses a little more. Then after making dinner I’m basically ready for PJs and bed. But then I revenge bedtime procrastinate because in a mere few hours the whole things starts over. For five days straight. Until the weekend hits and for two glorious days I just about get to a semblance of a normal human being again before Monday comes rolling along too quickly.

I don’t think this singularly applies to just my work-life balance?

I’ve spoken to people who do all sorts of different jobs in various different industries and they seem to say the same; Work is just mental busy. More stressful than ever. Totally exhausting. And that weekend isn’t damn long enough anymore. Doing some research (because sometimes I like to add in actual stats to my rant worthy personal views), one report found 88% of professionals were more stressed than they were in their careers five years ago. Showing that the working world has changed and we’re baring the brunt of the stress that comes with that.

The same survey also found that stress from work impacts negatively on personal life and severely affects overall satisfaction. Life is already packed with responsibilities outside of work, so if the working week is intertwined and impacting everything else, how does it all affect mental health?

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, work-related stress, depression and anxiety were on the increase

With 50% of all work-related health cases relating to just these three things alone. Tight deadlines. Lack of managerial support. Too much responsibility. Workload pressures. They all affect a person and lead to people suffering work-related stress, depression or anxiety. And the reality is, life today is stressful and there is so much uncertainty intertwined with all that work worry, and the stress from all of these things influences all other areas of life including mental health and wellbeing.

Good News! The 4 day work week might be more reality than happy dreaming

But maybe something is going to change. 4 Day Week Global is at a midway point with their research into the benefits for both employee and employer of a 4 day working week, and the stats are looking good. For a start, it’s revealing a 78% less stressed and happier workforce and 63% of businesses in the UK pilot (the largest pilot globally so far) found it easier to recruit new talent. Stress, wellbeing, symptoms of burnout and life satisfaction have all improved for those taking part.

The research is centred around and proving that working smarter rather than longer and prioritizing peoples wellbeing is the way forward. And in exchange for 100% pay for 80% current working hours, 100% productivity is achieved. A win win for all wouldn’t you agree?. The real stand out takeaway here is that a 4 day working week is not only a conversation but something being looked into as a possibility for the future. And the pilots across the globe all point towards the three day weekend being the way forward.   

I say bring that 3 day weekend on!

And not because I’m lazy or want to work any less. I’m a damn hard worker and I’m totally up for spreading my 5 day working week hours over 4 longer days. But it’s simply because two days isn’t anywhere near enough time to get back to recharged anymore and to combat the work pressures throughout the week. I’ve barely made it to Sunday morning before Monday starts looming in the back of my mind and I’m already stressing out at the thought. So a longer weekend with more time to unwind and relax will absolutely lead to better productivity for me in the working week. And as a huge bonus, I know my overall wellbeing will improve as a result.

The 4 day working week feels like it’s being normalized. And I am totally for it. How about you?

What are your thoughts on a 4 day working week?.

By Amy Roullier
By Amy Roullier

Amy is the Founder and Editor of The Authentic Optimist. She talks all things life. From the highs to the lows, to all those messy bits in-between. She is a writer, rambler, lover of carbs (her true soulmate) and she is especially passionate about dispelling myths about women in their 30s. Amy lives in Lincolnshire with her two greyhounds.