In 2017 I found myself in a burnout cycle. It’s typical of people in the creative industries. We’re passionate about what we do, so we work hard without enough breaks and blur the boundaries between work and life. Then, suddenly, we can’t manage it anymore, and we crash. I realised something had to give. So, I changed my hours, working 9-to-5 Monday to Thursday and taking Fridays off.
I realised my output didn’t dip with one day off a week. I felt more focused and productive when working! It was life-changing and proved even more so when I had kids. I can now have a whole Friday of guilt-free time with my kids where I know no one is waiting for an email back from me. I’m dreaming of the day they’re at school and I’ll use that time to drink hot tea, relax and dream up bigger ideas!!
We’ve now decided to work a four-day week as a company, with everyone staying on a full-time salary. It’s taken each of us some time to get used to taking Fridays off (and not overworking on the rest of the week to compensate) but we all kept reminding each other to be strict with taking Friday off and now we’re all pros!
We all agree that it’s improved our well-being and motivation! We’re more efficient during our working days and love the freedom a four-day week gives us.
by Jo Hunter, Founder of 64 Million Artists
Here’s what our team had to say about the 4-Day Week:
“For me the four-day week is the organisation saying to us we care about you, your creativity and your wellbeing. I feel valued and supported, so I am more motivated and present at work while having time to express myself outside work. Now on Fridays, I can make the most of a quiet swimming pool for a morning swim and cook up an elaborate storm whilst singing along to the radio. It’s a special thing that I hope, as the movement grows, more people can experience.”
“Having the extra day over the weekend is brilliant. I’m able to spend more focused time on my creativity – I’m about to start a dressmaking course on Fridays! It’s wonderful to feel supported at work to take more time for yourself. When Monday comes around, I can take the creativity I have nurtured into the way I work.”
“A four-day working week means I can spend at least one day a week doing something for myself, whether playing music, seeing friends or getting away for a long weekend. It means so much to me that the company I work with values our wellbeing enough to have a four-day week in place. I also have Fibromyalgia, so a full working week and commuting for a couple of hours daily can easily burn me out. Hence, a four-day week in which we only go into the office once a week has helped me feel so empowered creatively and health-wise!”
“The four-day working week allows me to pursue my training to become a herbalist alongside doing my job. I have also found it makes me more focused and productive during the week as you have to be a little more strategic about managing your time, and we manage to get a lot of great work done for a team that only works four days! I look forward to the summer when I’m on a break from my studies. I can spend the extra day enjoying nature and my hobbies and seeing friends and family.”
“A four-day week allows me to pursue wider and complementary interests alongside my work. It offers flexibility and improves my productivity. It’s great!”
“I love the four-day working week! It’s given a new meaning to the weekend and means my work is more focused. I feel more driven!”