How the 4-day workweek is treating us.

We’re into the final month of our 4-day workweek experiment and we thought it’s time to finally share how it’s going so far.

Maria Gebhardt
Sep 17 · 4 min read

We started our 4-day workweek back in July (read here how we’re implementing this exactly) and now moved into the final month of this three months experiment. Are we enjoying this time? Of course! Are we sad to see it leave? Most definitely!

Throughout this time many of us gave feedback through answering bi-weekly surveys. So based on these surveys, here is a short and honest update on our 4-day workweek experiment and how we’re all feeling.

Let’s hear what the team has to say:

“Can’t wait for the 3-day workweek!”

The feedback we received so far has been overwhelming positive. Not only is the idea of the 4-day workweek in general still highly appreciated, we are also feeling a lot better and happier than before. Our work-life balance has definitely improved.

“The stress is way, way less. I didn’t feel any anxiety during the weekend like I usually do.”

While we’re still feeling stressed sometimes, it’s less. Or rather, it shifted. For many in the team, having felt stressed out in general turned into stressed at work, because of deadlines, sickness of coworkers, too many tasks and holidays. Does that sound different compared to a 5-day workweek? Not really, however, there is one more day to recharge.

“Just felt like working more efficiently.”

This was mentioned a lot. We are better rested, which results in higher motivation and focus. And in the end it makes us accomplish more. In our view working only 4 days a week does not mean you get one less day of work done.

“When it never ends.”

Ok, seriously. The 4-day workweek has been really good for us as individuals. However, there are some things we noticed on the way, that should be considered and addressed.

“You work only 3 days with everyone.”

A 4-day workweek, the way we’re doing it right now, means only three days for everyone to work together. We have a shift system, half the team takes off Monday and the other Friday, depending on the person’s preference. We created this system to be reachable Monday to Friday for our clients.
We only realised on the way, that this meant, that collaborative tasks needed to be deferred by 2 working days, if you were missing any information.

But:

“You have more time to focus and do deep work.“

While these three overlapping days are more packed now and sometimes more stressful, many of us pointed out, that we suddenly have one day, which is a lot quieter. No noise on Slack, no meetings interrupting focused work— you have longer stretches of time you can fully concentrate on one project.

“We need less meetings.”

Meetings are actually quite a controversial subject in the team. Some people find the amount of meetings and the time spent in those meetings (internal meetings that is) too high. They’d prefer to have less meetings and more focus time.
While others feel that actually more meetings are necessary to be able to align more thoroughly.
This may not be an issue with the 4-day workweek though, rather different perspectives on how to utilise and maximise time. We had this same discussion when we were all working five days.

One final issue we noticed is that people are working on their day off. A lot of us don’t, but every week there are some people opening up the laptop to do some bits here and there. For the most part it’s limited to 2 h of work, however for a select few, it‘s adding up to a whole extra day. As far as it’s to be seen, the situation is improving though and more of us are keeping their laptop shut. We probably just needed time to get accustomed to 4-days being the new normal.

We are not sure yet. According to the initial plan, we would return to a 5-day workweek starting October. But there are discussions going on and every aspect has to be put into consideration. There are a lot of different opinions and we need to see what’s best for the team and the company. We’ll definitely keep you updated on our decision and give you more detailed insights in an upcoming post.

Here is one last quote from one of my coworkers, which summarises what a lot of us feel:

“The 4-day workweek is honestly life-changing”

diesdas.digital is a studio for strategy, design and code in Berlin, featuring a multidisciplinary team of designers, developers and strategists. We create tailor-made digital solutions with an agile mindset and a smile on our faces. Let’s work together!

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