The Four-Day Workweek: Our New Norm

A few weeks ago, we transitioned to the four-day workweek. We promised we’d let you know how it’s been going for us. Here’s what our team has to say.

 

Brad Griffith

I’m over the top excited about our team’s commitment to intentional rest and the changes in our business operations necessary to make the four-day workweek successful. I’ve been challenged by other business owners and executives about how we can have such ambitious growth goals AND a four-day workweek. Rather than a contradiction, our growth and our intentional rest are part of the same initiative.

The discipline it takes to complete all of our work in four days each week is the very same discipline it takes to grow. I hear our team ending their week with energy and excitement about getting back to our impactful work the following week after a break rather than feeling drained and in need of a break. Our four-day workweek isn’t primarily a benefit–it’s a different way of working that both demands more discipline and intentional planning AND provides us with more time to pursue growth and fulfillment in other areas of life.

My Fridays lately have been a great opportunity for getting together with entrepreneurial friends for breakfast or lunch. It’s inspiring hearing more about what others including Heather Whaling (Geben Communication), Phil and Krista Franks (Owl & Key), and Michelle Murica (Book & Street). I’ve also enjoyed some scooter rides and batting cage visits with my wife and daughters. Recently I celebrated by 17th wedding anniversary with my wife by going on a weekend trip while our girls stayed with Grandma and Grandpa. We were able to get a head start on the weekend Friday for some extra time together including exploring Ann Arbor by car and by foot. We wouldn’t have had as much time together had it not been for our four-day workweek.

I find myself thinking more strategically and creatively lately, and I’m confident the additional time to reflect has contributed. After a couple of months, I’m sold that a four-day workweek is the way to go for a hard-working, focused team like ours.

 

Taylor Cochran

Transitioning from a five-day work week to a four-day work week has given me a gentle push to become even more organized in my day to day. The most impactful adjustment I’ve made is dividing each day into focused chunks of time. This has included making an effort to schedule meetings in a cluster during one portion of the day and using the rest of the day to complete the meetings’ action items and other tasks due that day. As a new mom, I am extra passionate about having a four-day work week. It allows me to spend more time with my baby. Fridays with my family have allowed me to watch my daughter grow and given me more time to open a book during nap time!

 

Lorraine Shill

I’ve really enjoyed and appreciated having Friday’s off. Over the last few weeks I’ve used this additional day off in a number of ways. It’s a good day to schedule doctor and other appointments. I’ve spent more time on exercise and rest. Or, I’ve spent this extra day taking care of chores and errands so that I can relax more over the weekend.

I find myself more productive during the four working days. So far I’ve been able to complete my weekly duties within the four-day period. If I do need to work during the lunch break or before or after the work day hours, this is worth it to me to have the additional time off at the end of the week. 

 

Melanie Muscolo

I’ve really enjoyed having a four-day work week. I love having a day where I know I can schedule appointments or run miscellaneous errands. It really helps me mentally recharge and I feel like that has impacted my work during the week positively. 

 

Tony Todoroff

Switching to a four-day workweek has been an absolute game changer for me. I find now that I have time for the things in my life that had fallen by the wayside–most without me even realizing it. I started music lessons back up. I’m able to handle yard work during the day instead of after work when I’m exhausted. I’ve returned to some art projects that had been put on “indefinite hiatus”. Overall I feel so much more energized and refreshed and HAPPY. My mental health has benefited abundantly. I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of a team and company that cares so much about each and every one of us who call Buckeye Innovation home.

My work has benefitted as well. I feel more focused on my tasks and on the needs of our clients. I start my week feeling refreshed, like my batteries have been charged. Even though the amount of work I need to do hasn’t changed, I find that I’m more productive overall. Strange, but true! Work/life balance has always been important to me, and having Fridays for myself pretty much takes that concern off the table. It’s a beautiful thing. I’ve actually never been more proud of my creative output at work.

 

Scott Brady

The four-day workweek has been incredibly enjoyable! There are so many things that I’d like to learn and accomplish that just don’t fit into a week. Having Fridays off lets me explore those things, whether they are home improvement-related, Software Engineering related, or just hobbies. It really does help me recharge and feel more refreshed and ready to tackle the next week of work.

 

Matthew Gardner

The four-day workweek has been an absolutely colossal, life-changing thing for me. I have a newborn son, so the extra day gives me extra time to spend with him and gives my wife a break. We can also schedule all our appointments on Friday which means I take less time off during the week, which is great when you’ve got a billion different things to go to in a short period of time.

I think the biggest thing, obviously, is the mental health benefit – the extra day off keeps me fresh even when the week is busy and stressful, so I’m able to get through most of the week doing my best work. It’s a lot easier to keep a positive attitude and focus on getting the most out of the short week.

 

Oscar Aguilar

I cannot describe how awesome it feels to have Fridays off and a three day weekend. For many years whenever I heard that companies in Europe were doing this (I seriously considered moving to Denmark!) I always thought that it would be decades before anything like this remotely came to the US. The theory behind a productive four-day workweek has always made sense to me. Happy and refreshed team members will always be more productive and efficient than burned out ones. After all, this mentality is what led to the standard work week we all know today. It’s truly amazing to know that I didn’t have to wait decades to experience that it is possible to have an amazing job with co-workers you love collaborating with, fulfilling work, and a healthy work-life balance with benefits like flexible schedules and a four-day workweek.

The first couple of Fridays I took as personal days to just unwind and decompress. I certainly felt refreshed coming back to the office. Now that I got that out of my system, I’ve been able to get back to working on pet projects and learning new skills. I use some time Friday mornings to go through a certification course I’ve struggled to make real progress on for the last few months, and then use the afternoon for fun coding sandboxes. Last Friday I even pulled out my guitar and began to learn a new song, something I’ve been putting off for years!

Every Friday is different; one day I might be learning and advancing my professional skills. Another day I’ll be doing chores and yard work. Having this extra day allows me to fully enjoy my weekend and not feel like I didn’t rest long enough before coming back to work. For years I always felt like the weekend was never long enough. As much as I may have enjoyed any given job and collaborating with co-workers, it always felt like a drag to go back to work on Mondays. Now, it truly feels like I’m getting a proper reset and refresh which makes me feel super motivated to go back and give it my all. 

Four-day workweeks rock!

 

Rachel McManus

The past few weeks with Fridays off have been absolutely wonderful. To start, it’s nice to be able to travel on Fridays. Memorial Day weekend, my five-year wedding anniversary, and my sister’s baby shower all fell within a few weeks of each other. I didn’t have to ask for those days off or figure out how to travel after work. I could just pick up and go.

Aside from traveling, family time has been better. My son’s daycare has had parent-teacher conferences, as well as a spring festival, in the time we’ve had Fridays off. I’ve been able to go and support him and prioritize that time with him. The smile on his face when I showed up in the middle of the day to do the festival with him was priceless. I’ve also been able to pick him up early a few times from daycare. Those few extra hours with him are absolutely precious, just playing in the backyard and watching him explore and learn. I want to be there for him as much as I can, and this time has helped.

My husband and I have also been able to have some Friday afternoon lunch dates while our son is at daycare. This has been great, since trying to find childcare in the evening or weekends (which is when we normally would have to do it) can sometimes be difficult. It’s nice to reconnect and just have that time together as a couple.

Beyond that, my personal time at home has been much more productive. I’m able to get chores done around the house, freeing up time for the family to spend together on the weekends enjoying each other, rather than trying to catch up on those chores on Saturdays and Sundays. I’ve been prioritizing my own health and doing longer workouts on Fridays. Our dog has also been benefitting, because he gets longer walks on Fridays and LOVES every second of it. He also gets more interactive playtime with me, which I know he enjoys.

I’ve also been making some serious writing progress on book two of my series, which is awesome. Typically during the week before this, I tried to write a couple paragraphs here and there when I could. But between a full time job, a toddler, a dog, all the typical day-to-day chores, and a military husband, it was difficult to find that consistent time set aside to just write. Now on Fridays, I’m able to devote a couple hours in one sitting and make serious headway. It feels good to have that.

Because of all of this, I feel like I’m actually more productive at work, and my mind doesn’t wander. I can focus more because I know that if nothing else, I have Friday to devote to my personal items. I’m not rushed trying to figure them out in between everything else during the rest of the week. I feel more creative, more productive, and more relaxed.

Overall, it’s been awesome.

 

Ben Schwinghammer

A four-day workweek has been a wonderful change! It has given me dedicated time to tackle personal projects that I normally wouldn’t have the time to do. I feel like I’m able to be more productive both in my personal time and in my time at work. 

 

Madeline Rooney

When I first heard we were moving towards a four-day workweek, I was a little uneasy. But, as our team has made the transition, my working and non-working days have felt more intentional. I am now more focused, creative, and productive throughout the week.

My Fridays now consist more of simplifying my personal space, spending time outdoors, traveling, and connecting with friends and family. 

 

Stacy McGrath

Shifting to a four-day workweek has been a huge boost to my ability to find balance in my life. Being able to take care of errands, appointments, and household chores on Friday has opened my weekends to more quality time with my husband. I’ve also spent more time playing music, reading, exercising, and tending my garden. These are all hobbies that greatly enhance my overall wellbeing, but which had fallen by the wayside in recent years. My husband and I love hiking, camping, and bikepacking, and we’re looking forward to many long weekends spent outside this fall.

Knowing I have that extra day each week to recharge definitely helps me stay focused and more productive from Monday through Thursday. I believe it has helped me to do better work. I’m so grateful to work for a company that is on the forefront of finding innovative ways to improve the way work gets done. This change truly feels like a win both for our team members, who are able to live more balanced lives, and for our clients, who benefit from having a more energized, focused team working on their projects.

 

Andrew Minnich

I get more time to work on my hobbies with Fridays off. It’s great! It’s also easier to schedule doctor’s appointments and such, so that’s nice too. I think a four-day workweek is a better work/life balance than a five-day workweek.

 

Mitchel Goben

Having worked 40+ hours a week for most of my career. Having a four-day workweek helps me focus and make the most out of my work days! Since starting with a four-day workweek I have found that come Monday I am more refreshed and ready to hit the ground running again. I don’t think I could go back after being able to pursue hobbies and travel on the weekends!

 

Sam Ziessler

The four-day workweek is extremely nice to have! Having even just one extra day for errands, appointments, or just intentional relaxation makes life much easier. It’s great to have the time to refresh for the next week. I also definitely feel like I have much more time to devote towards hobbies and other responsibilities. This takes a ton of stress off of work. 

 

Mehul Rao

The four-day workweek has been tremendously helpful to me! Having a three-day weekend has allowed me to have more time focusing on hobbies and preparing for college. I believe I am more productive throughout the week, and end up feeling refreshed the next Monday. The four-day workweek has most definitely been a positive experience!