Is a 4-Day Workweek viable? (feat. Joe Sanok)
For most executives and entrepreneurs, the four-day workweek feels like a pipe dream.
When you’re working 50-60 hours a week, it’s hard to picture eliminating an entire workday. There’s not enough time in the day to be successful. What about revenue? Employee productivity?
With less time at work, how will your company stay competitive?
Joe Sanok is the author of Thursday is the New Friday: How to work fewer hours, make more money, and spend time doing what you want. He’s the host of The Practice of the Practice podcast, one of the Top 50 Podcasts worldwide. As the founder of the Podcast Launch School, Joe helps entrepreneurs find innovative ways to start, grow and scale their businesses.
In this episode, Joe shares the science behind the four-day workweek and how to implement new schedule practices at your company.
Why working less means producing more
“When are your best ideas?” Joe said. “It’s not when you’re stressed out and maxed out on that 49th hour of the week.”
You don’t get a flood of ideas by working constantly. The best ideas happen when you’re not at your desk. After you meditate. After you go for a walk.
“What slowing down does to the brain,” Joe said, “is it allows that fear center to mute. It allows us to then have that space and time to allow different parts of the brain to talk to one another in a different way.”
Neuroscience shows that the less we work, usually the more creative and productive we are. It sounds counterintuitive, but we have to slow down to get ahead.
Less time on the clock also means protecting yourself and your employees from burnout, one of the leading causes of the great resignation.
How to successfully implement a four-day workweek
According to Joe, the transition from five days to four days isn’t going to happen overnight. Change has to happen incrementally.
To implement a four-day workweek, Joe says leaders need three things:
- A new framework
- Clear KPIs
- Agile experimentation
Teams and departments need to establish a new framework together. Maybe it’s logging off at 2pm on Fridays. Maybe it’s starting late on Wednesdays.
In some cases, you might have one half of the department off on Mondays and the other half on Fridays. Allow flexibility to cover your business needs and employee preferences.
Once a framework is created, make sure team members know their KPIs. What are you going to do to measure the effectiveness? How will you track everything on a weekly basis?
From there, decide on a set amount of time to test and adjust the new framework. Joe recommends teams try the new framework for three months and see how things go.
Listen to the full episode to hear how the four-day workweek prevents burnout, engages employees, and, ultimately, improves your business.
Joe also shares…
- A brief history of the standard workweek and why it doesn’t fit now
- Why we need to re-evaluate how we approach meetings
- Three specific questions to ask employees to get honest feedback
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