Implementing a Four-day Workweek
How a four-day workweek can influence your wellbeing, productivity, and the environment
How to make a four-day week work for you
As we say all the time here at Revolancer, freelancing provides you greater flexibility and control of your hours. So why not use this in effect of the 4-day workweek? Advancing technology and a reappraisal of working flexibility in recent months have made a shorter working week a reality for many. We have compiled a few ways that this can become a reality for you too.
Plan your calendar
Now, you may be wondering where to start. Our recommendation is to begin with enhancing your time management. Decide a month ahead which four working days to take throughout the month. Planning these ahead is essential to get the most out of your shorter workweek. You can use this to create a calendar detailing your three days off and to plan which tasks you will be addressing on the other four days. This will allow you to also decide how many hours you will work on those days.
Thinking like this means you can organise flexibly and effectively your workload, while at the same time making plans in your personal life. And really, this greater work-life balance is the heart of why a four-day working week is becoming more popular.
Plan your lunchtimes
Something small like simply planning when your breaks will be, or how long they will be, proves effective for working around them. It’s far too easy to work through lunch and eat on the go, especially with unexpected tasks cropping up. Getting in that half an hour is surprisingly beneficial for productivity. This is a great tip, particularly for freelancers and self-employed people who work from home. Preparing your lunch the night before, as though you were still heading into an office is also a good idea. It can allow you to have a shorter lunch break and maximise the time you spend working.
If you’re someone who gets tired towards the end of the day, shortening your lunch to have an afternoon break can afford extra flexibility from organising your time. Splitting your break such as this enhances productivity if you are adjusting to longer hours to squeeze in that extra day off. If you’re meal prepping the day before, a 30-minute lunch may be all the time you need. Overall, to get the best out of your 4-day workweek is to simply increase the number of productive working hours you have. So, the length of your lunch might be flexible but making sure you plan to have one is really important to keep up productivity.
So how will you start the day? We suggest looking at time-sensitive tasks first. This is a great way to increase effective work. You can also improve working relations by completing tasks before deadlines.
Front loading the most important tasks and completing them early is a good place to start. It gives you time to address emergencies and last-minute responsibilities that may pop up without dipping into your own time. Get into a good groove of ticking off those tasks early. Decrease your procrastination and keep yourself motivated to reap those rewards!
Work from home
Another tip to maximise productivity is to work from home. Reducing those hours spent commuting can allow you to start earlier and get more out of your time (and decreases your carbon footprint too!)
While you might miss those water-cooler chats, working from home allows you to control noise levels and spontaneous distractions. Scheduling in a quick remote chat with a co-worker in a planned time slot can give you that motivation and valued peer support without derailing your schedule.
Why the 4-day workweek will be beneficial
Now you may be thinking, why change my routine? Well, the five-day, 40-hour workweek, came into effect many years ago to suit families from a different generation. Today, these hours may no longer suit every family and lifestyle. Many people are finding four days to be more suitable to their schedules and wellbeing.
A variety of countries, including the UK, are trialling the four-day workweek. Studies have also shown increased productivity and decreased stress in employees who work from home. So, you may be interested to see if it would work for you. For those with children, an extra day off will allow you to save on childcare costs and to spend that extra day with your family. Extra time can also be devoted to other projects, hobbies or volunteering. Maybe you could squeeze in a weekend away or visit other family members.
Whatever you decide to do, reducing from five days to four gives you the opportunity to take more time off and better your wellbeing, without altering your income.
Before you go
We hope you were able to find some valuable information in this article, and perhaps you’ll be able to introduce some of these ideas into your working pattern in the future. To make the most of your Revolancer account, check out ‘How to Optimise Your Profile’. For an enhanced experience on our zero-commission platform, try Revolancer Plus.
Freelance marketplace: Revolancer