Like most of my ideas, thoughts and pursuits, the 4 Day Week gem came from a series of books.
Books, reflection, application of ideas and me getting really frustrated with my inability to make genuine, lasting change… I felt like I have been on a hamster wheel, albeit a very fun and fulfilling hamster wheel. My effort at work didn’t correlate with my “success”, “output” or “satisfaction”.
I have been talking about genuine flexible working hours, reduced working weeks and increased productivity – albeit fairly incoherently it turns out – for many years.
Naomi, my long suffering business partner has endured it mostly and largely written it off as a pipe-dream.
The world of productivity has always intrigued me, driving me to seek and find better ways of working. To do more with less. I wouldn’t say I’m ambitious, but I am thirsty for knowledge.
I have always felt like I do my best work in short spurts, and always, when I am well rested. And the difference between my best days and my ordinary days are orders of magnitudes not mere percentages.
Then in 2019 I read Andrew Barnes’ Four Day Week. In short, Andrew Barnes read an Economist article while he was on a 12 hour flight. The article was about major productivity study and stated: UK productive 2.5hr/day; Canada 1.5hr/day. This is incredible!!! By the time the flight had landed, Andrew had concocted an idea… If this (or something similar) was true in his own business back in NZ, he could give everyone a whole day off every week, in return for an effectively very small (1-3hour) productivity increase spread across the other 4 days.
What a brilliant, contrarian, out-side-of-the-box thinking approach to a pervasive problem.
I was hooked. Of course this was the answer.
So, after reading the book half a dozen times, I made a public announcement, a pledge of sorts… On the 12/12/20, I introduced Andrew Barnes who was being Zoomed in as the speaker at the Focus HR Business Excellence Awards. And so the story began...