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The 4-day week: A new approach to work-life balance

The 4-day week: A new approach to work-life balance

12 juin 2023
Guillaume Ducuing - Front-end developer - React | NextJS | PrismicGuillaume Ducuing

The 4-day week is becoming more and more popular within companies, I'll tell you about my experience at Bruno!

La semaine de 4 jours

The 4 day week

Is it really recent?

The 4-day week is a not-so-recent concept since it was Pierre Larrouturou who launched the project in 1993 to promote recruitment in companies. Around 400 companies had tested the 4-day week, which allowed them to obtain partial exemption from social security contributions (8%). Since then the law has been repealed but some companies have kept this system.

One of the best-known companies for relaunching the 4-day week is the company LDLC. Behind this choice, which seems to be a gift for employees, there is a real economic issue for companies!

Hey ! (the Office)

What are the advantages ?

The advantages for the company and the employee are legion:

For the company :

  • Recruitment argument: if the company is struggling to find talent or if the remuneration is not commensurate with the position, the 4-day week can tip the scales for the undecided candidate!
  • Communication lever: the 4-day week is becoming more popular but it is not the norm. Switching to 4 days means being able to communicate the company's avant-garde and its desire to offer a pleasant working environment for employees.
  • Increased productivity: Companies that adopt this system see an increase in productivity. The best-known example is that of Microsoft in Japan which saw an increase in productivity of almost 40% (capital.fr).

A happy employee is an employee who is less sick, who experiences less burnout and who stays with the company!

For the employee:

  • 3 days of weekend: at Bruno's, taking this day on Monday or Friday allows you to extend the weekend and that's huge! When I started, I always felt like I was coming back from vacation when I came back from the weekend!
  • An effective remedy against burn-out: Unless you work monstrous days in terms of hours, the 4-day week allows you to take a real break during the 3 days off and return to work with 200% batteries.
  • 1 day dedicated to yourself: The fact that it is not yet democratized makes this day a moment completely to yourself. If you have children, they are in school. Your friends & family are at work. So we take advantage of this day to do something alone. It’s the bubble during the week that makes the difference!
Friends - 4 daysSource : tenor.com

My experience of the 4 day week

In our agency, it was decided to give Fridays to 50% of the team and Mondays to 50% of the team, which allows the agency to remain open and not penalize our clients and our activity. I don't work on Mondays and take advantage of this day to take care of my daughter who is a few months old. It’s a moment I wouldn’t want to trade! In the position I previously held before my retraining (read the article on my retraining), I worked on Saturdays and took one day off during the week. I enjoyed my children much less and I even felt like my time was being stolen. The 4 day week changed everything!

An impossible return

Imagining working again for 5 days seems impossible to me today! The 4 days a week trend seems to be catching on and I think and hope it will become a norm in a few years! I had fun doing a little calculation:

If we consider that we work around 45 years (from 20 years to 65 years on average), then we can do a little calculation to know how many days less we will work with the 4-day week (not to be reported in hour, since in my case, I always do 35 hours).

4 days per month x 12 months = 48 additional days per year.

48 x 45 = 2160 days/365 days = 6 years.

For a working life of 4 days per week, you will have worked 6 years less than the average (in working days) or rather, you will have gained 6 years of non-working days!

Guillaume Ducuing, Front-end web developerSource : unsplash.com