4 Day Work Week

I am in a very fortunate situation to work with and on my fathers business. One day, in the not too distant future, I will be running the business and will manage all of the business myself. I will be the manager and also own 33.33% of the business when my parents pass it onto the three beneficiaries. To be totally honest, I am not too far from running it myself now as I do all the bookwork and invoicing etc.

With working on a family business comes flexibility. Our business is in the hay and straw processing area (agriculture). We have 2 full time employees (myself and my dad) and a casual that we call on regularly to help with post-processing tasks.

I have now been at the company (yes we pay company tax here in Australia) for a little over a year. At the start we used to work 5 days a week. We would work 8:30am to 5:00pm just like a regular job with an unpaid hour lunch. We would work 7.6 hours a day for 5 days a week = 38 hours a week.

We did this for roughly 4 months. I was then talking to my best friend and he said he was off to the mines (iron ore) for work. He told me that they work for 12 hours a day for 7 days. This is 84 hours in a week, he would then get a whole week off, meaning he would work 2184 hours in a year. That’s a pretty good gig.

So it got me thinking….. why am I working 38 hours in 5 days. Seems like an awful waste of time management. So I suggested to dad that we change our working hours. We start at 7:00am and work till 5:00pm (9.5 hours a day). This would mean that we would work 4 days and still get 38 hours a week (30 mins unpaid lunch). This works out to be 38 hours times 52 weeks (not including leave) = 1976 hours a year of work, slightly less than my friend.

We have both noticed production has increased, we have extra energy because we aren’t spending time standing around waiting for 5pm, we usually get a lot more work done because we are there for what feels like a shorter time overall. And to top it off, the casual worker is happier as he is there for less days but works longer days. He is happy he is working 5 hours or so a day for 4 days rather than 3 or 4 hours a day for 5 days.

If you are in the situation to change, I would suggest to see if you can do it also. This gives me an extra day to work on side hustles and spend extra time with the wife upgrading things around the house.

What do you think? Is this a good idea to change your working week to 4 days?

12 thoughts on “4 Day Work Week

  1. Definitely if you can it’s great to manage your time so you can do other things important to you.

    I have been thinking of seeing whether my employer can offer that option but the over an hour commute one way is telling me my days are already long enough…

    1. That definitely would make things tough. Another way to look at it is not only would you be getting an extra day of side hustle or whatever you would like to do, you’d be saving 2 hours travel time a week. That’s not even taking into consideration the money on fuel (gas) you’d save. You’d save yourself over 100 hours in a year by reducing it by a day.

  2. I think its a great idea BHL, and great you have the flexibility to do this. Unfortunately many salaried jobs expected you to do the extra hours regardless….

    1. I know that feeling Frankie. I have worked many jobs in my life time. That was actually one of the main reasons why I left my last job, I was required to do many extra hours but in the end never got paid or time off in lieu of it. I saw this as unfair and the bosses were unreasonable. I am much better off now.

  3. Glad it worked out BHL. All I can say is that if I had the choice between working longer hours and fewer days per work rather than few hours but more days per week, I would choose to work longer hours and fewer days per week. Sounds like you’re onto something.

    1. Thanks Div-Port. I am really liking the 4 days working and 3 days to do other things. Has given me a lot of time to focus on other things in life and other side hustles. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. That’s great, and at my last job I did the same for many years. Unfortunately as I moved up the corporate ladder, my off day slowly became more and more a work from home day. My preference was always to take Wednesday as my day off too, as it split up the week and allowed me to do things during the middle of the week when most people were at work. While the 3-day weekends would have been nice, I found that doing a Friday or Monday felt more rushed and congested if I was out and about.

    Plus, it kind of gave me two Fridays every week. I came in on Monday but knew that I only had one more day until I got a day off, and then when I came back on Thursday it was easy because the next day was Friday.

    1. That’s exactly right. It makes it a lot easier if you are managing the time and can allow yourself that extra time off. I haven’t even had one of those days at home. I always have something planned for those days.

  5. At my previous job my employer allowed us to work a “normal” work week getting 40 hours M-F or you could choose to work the 9/80 schedule which was 9 hour days M-F/M-Th and then have every other Friday off. I think just about everyone chose the 9/80 and it was so much better than a “normal” work week. Having a 3 day weekend every other weekend was great and freed up so much time and allowed you to take a quick weekend getaway without having to worry about leaving straight from work or hurrying through the getaway. The extra hour each day also helped to reduce travel time which was an added benefit. By the time I would be getting off work I’d be hitting just the tail end of rush hour instead of the worst of it. If I go back to a job that offers that I’ll be all over it.

    1. It definitely has many benefits. Luckily I live and work where traffic is very limited. A 4 day work week makes me very busy during the week but also gives me time to do other things besides work on the extra day in the week.

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