Ask DN: 4-day work week?

9 years ago from , Creative Director @ Design by Cosmic, Inc.

Hi DN,

We're considering experimenting with a 4-day work with at Design by Cosmic and I wanted to see if any of you have experience working with this method.

We would work four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days.

We're hoping that the 3-day weekend will help our team avoid burnout, improve work/life balance, and even (hopefully) increase efficiency and creativity.

Do any of you have experience working this way? How has it affected your work and life?


  • Nathan NNathan N, 9 years ago

    A four day work week would be amazing, I could go out on Thursday nights.

    4 points
  • Carolann Merchant, 9 years ago

    Great idea! At thoughtbot, we spend Monday - Thursday on client projects and use Fridays as internal/side-project investment days.

    Sometimes you might work on a client project on a Friday, but it's usually in an effort to get ahead of schedule.

    We still keep the general 9-5 hours Mon-Fri.

    4 points
  • Kelly SuttonKelly Sutton, 9 years ago

    I would also ask the Elepath guys about this. I know they have experimented with 4-day work weeks.

    4 points
    • Eric Ressler, 9 years ago

      Thanks Kelly

      1 point
      • Pasquale D'SilvaPasquale D'Silva, 9 years ago

        We love them. We've been doing 5 in the winter though. Means earlier days home.

        Really, we don't measure the number of hours worked - we measure if we hit our goals for the week. Need a day off for a breather? Do it!

        10 points
  • Justin RuckmanJustin Ruckman, 9 years ago

    Work when there's work to be done. Rest when you've earned it, or you need it. Ideally both. At least that's what I've always done.

    3 points
  • Cory HughesCory Hughes, 9 years ago

    I work 40 hours, sometimes more (yay overtime/deadlines/etc.), a week over 4 days.

    tl;dr: I do this and I love it, use day off to work on personal projects.

    I take mondays off because they suck. Joking aside, I actually like Mondays and usually use the day to work on my own stuff. (I am currently re-designing my portfolio. Long overdue.)

    My boss suggested this as I travel almost 2 hours to work each day. (Yeah. Crazy. I know. Not getting into it.)

    I love it! Sure, my days are incredibly long, but my productivity has gone up. I get more stuff done, but that might be to the fact that I am usually the only one in the office.

    Like I said above, I am using my mondays to work on personal projects or on less productive days, the usual weekend stuff.

    That said, I'm young and I only see family on weekends anyway.

    I am usually tired by the end of the day but no more tired than I was before working "normal" days.

    One issue that I've found is the confusion of whether I get paid for stat-holidays since i don't work on mondays but still work a 40 hour week.

    This work style suits me. (I think this is key) I am an exception in my company. I am not sure if that's breeding resentment, but they also commute an average 30-45 minutes/day.

    I would consider offering your employees a choice & see how it works out for them. Circumstances might be significantly different. They might have kids, family or other needs.

    My apologies for the essay. ;) If you have any questions, please feel free to ask here or on twitter (@pumpki).

    3 points
  • Suleiman Leadbitter, 9 years ago (edited 9 years ago )

    Ryan Carson of the late Carsonified but current Treehouse swears by this working method. There are quite a few articles on his blog about this.

    I'm guessing the success of his businesses are some what testament of how well it can work out :)

    3 points
    • Eric Ressler, 9 years ago

      Treehouse has been a huge inspiration for us actually trying this. I'll read more of Ryan's blog to see how this has worked for them.

      2 points
  • Account deleted 9 years ago

    Sounds like a good experiment and it can’t hurt to try! I’ve taken a few days off every now and then to work with such a schedule, but just couldn’t find myself able to focus for 10 hours per day (I probably should have experimented for longer).

    2 points
  • Spencer HoltawaySpencer Holtaway, 9 years ago

    I have a standing appointment every Wednesday afternoon which is across town and forces me to leave the office around 1pm and then work from home for the rest of the day.

    I rarely bring actual 'doing' work home with me but rather use the time to more loosely think about what I'm working on.

    I have found that my productivity has increased dramatically because I force myself to focus on 'doing tasks' on the half day on Wednesday and genuinely make creative leaps in the afternoon work from home time I would never make in the office with all of its distractions. Better yet, I then usually head to the office a little early on Thursdays to take advantage of the quiet time to do they work related to my Wednesday afternoon thinking.

    In the 9am–6:30pm, Monday–Friday that I had been doing for 3+ years put me in a pattern where all of my time was spent at a desk trying to work in a state of constant interruption with great difficulty focusing.

    Being allowed to respect our individual, natural working/creative patterns in our commercial work (instead of being forced to follow a strict timetable) could be hugely beneficial for workers as well as companies.

    1 point
  • Pedro PintoPedro Pinto, 9 years ago

    I think at 37signals (now Basecamp) they also do that during Summer

    1 point
  • David ByrdDavid Byrd, 9 years ago


    0 points