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Is a four-day working week a good idea?

24th - 31st March 2023

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Age 5-11


Age 11-16+


Total votes

The five-day working week has been the norm since the 1920s. When employers such as Henry Ford (founder of Ford Motor Company) decided having two days off, the weekend, would make workers more productive.

However, is just two days off the way to increase productivity as much as possible?

In March of this year, many companies around the UK trialed this shorter week, with 92% of employers saying they would keep the change, as some said it created a “better work-life balance”.

Alternatively, some companies found they didn’t have the funds to support one day less a week of work.

This week our voters pondered the question whether a four-day week is a good idea. Using their own experience and the impact this would have on their parents and carers, our younger voters considered the practicalities of this. While our older voters contemplated the impact of a 4-day week on different sectors and industries.

Young child

Age 5-11

"I don’t want to go to school for 4 days, I want to go for 5 because I will
be able to learn more. If we don't finish our work in 4 days, we will fall


Age 11-16

“It lowers the stress rates whilst allowing the workers to be more flexible,
do more work and have a social life / spend time with family.”

Young adult

Age 16+

"I believe a four day working week would drastically improve people’s
lives and wellbeing. More and more people are suffering from burnout
and by working one less day a week it gives workers a chance to relax
and come back stronger the next week.”

57% of those aged 5-11 voted that 4-day school weeks are a good idea.

  • Our youngest voters were considering the practicalities of a four-day week.
  • The majority voted that it was a good idea, however it was our slimmest majority of the week. 43% voted No.
  • The comments shed some light on why this might be. Many said they were concerned that they wouldn't be able to learn the full curriculum in this time.
  • Our 'Yes' comments largely stated the wellbeing benefits to having an extra day of rest.
82% of those aged 11-16 agreed that moving to a four-day working week is a good idea.

  • Our largest majority came from 11-16-year-olds this week, with 82% voting that a four-day working week is a good idea.
  • In the comments we received, many argued that a four-day working week will prevent burnout and improve wellbeing.
75% of those aged 16+ agreed with out younger voters that a four-day working week is a good idea.

  • Our oldest voters agreed, with the majority voting 'Yes' to the question: "Is a four-day working week a good idea?"
  • However, 1 out of 4 voted 'No', which is a higher proportion than out 11-16-year-old voters.
  • The 'Yes' comments fell in line with the comments from the 11-16 vote. Many of the 'No' comments we received argued that it doesn't work for all sectors, namely the health service and jobs with unsociable working hours.
four day week results

Feedback from our Impact Partners

We had a fantastic response from our Impact Partners this week.

This includes companies that took part in the UK trial of a four day working week as well as the Four Day Week Global Campaign.

Watch the videos below to hear the views of Dr Dale Whelehan, CEO of the Four Day Week Global Campaign, which is campaigning for a four day working week in organisations across the world.

Henry Stewart, Chief Happiness Officer of Happy Ltd a consultancy for leadership and corporate culture.

Louise Verity, Director of Bookishly, a supplier of gifts and bookish merchandise to the cultural sector.

Simon Girling, Director of Girling Jones Recruitment Consultants who specialise in the construction sector.