Book Review  

Should you work a four day week?

Should you work a four day week?

Book review: The 4-day week by Andrew Barnes

No matter what business they are in, if employers want to recruit and retain quality people they have to offer competitive pay and benefits to potential recruits.

However, there are many different factors that job seekers consider when evaluating a job role.  

A recent survey of 2,011 UK employees and 502 employers found that, of the benefits workers valued the most, 44 per cent said between 22 and 35 days of annual leave, 41 per cent said a pension scheme, and 39 per cent said flexible work hours.

A wish for more time off and a better work-life balance is easy to understand when you consider that in the UK in 2019, 602,000 workers suffered from work-related stress, depression or anxiety and 12.8m working days were lost due to these conditions.

One potential solution gaining traction is the concept of the four-day week. 

Change management expert Andrew Barnes and business author Stephanie Jones have written a book highlighting why a four-day week can be a profitable and healthy future for the economy, environment, business owners and employees. 

In it Mr Barnes and Ms Jones present their case for a sustainable and profitable future in which we work less but are more productive, engaged and satisfied.

The book highlights the mounting evidence that we can all be more productive while working 32 hours rather than 40.

They also argue reduced hours would combat what is fast becoming an epidemic of mental illness stemming from work, which has a negative impact not only on workers’ health but business profits.

This book is no radical left manifesto, but a research-based study that the authors firmly believe can be the future of capitalism and a prosperous economy.

The authors have done their homework and the book is supported by website 4dayweek.com, which is well worth a visit. 

With its emphasis on productivity, The 4 Day Week tackles hard issues facing our world, for example stress and the breakdown in mental health, gender equality in pay and the environmental crisis. 

The authors argue that a four-day week is both economically viable and socially desirable, with benefits such as relief of congested motorways and public transport systems.

The 4 Day Week is an enjoyable read, with thought provoking ideas and research.

John Joe McGinley is the founder of Glassagh Consulting 

Published by Little Brown