Hands up if you’re a working mom that reduced your work time for less pay but with the same responsibilities!

If we want to close the gender pay gap, we have to start looking at ways to even the playing field.

The #4DayWeek offers a real chance to move the needle on gender equality at work and at home.

We know that women are much more likely to opt for reduced-hour or part-time roles – moving to a shorter working week in a structured, systemic way across the organization can take a giant step towards closing the #genderpaygap and achieving true #genderequality.

It’s not only working parents that struggle to juggle caring responsibilities and work commitments. More and more people these days are caring for elderly parents or relatives, with many families having more complex care needs.

We at the Work Time Reduction can help you start the conversation with your boss or board.

In 2021, I designed the first-ever #4DayWeek pilot program and research project in my home country of Ireland, having been involved in #WorkTimeReduction research, advocacy and coaching since 2018.

A lot has changed in the 5 years since then. This model, which was originally intended to be a small-scale project which provided some support, infrastructure and assessment to de-risk the process for leaders in Ireland who were interested in testing this out, was expanded to support a host of global trials in 2022 involving hundreds of companies and thousands of employees all over the world – including the recent landmark UK trial.

As an impatient leader that is constantly thinking about the next thing, how we build on this success and momentum and how we take the movement forward has been on my mind since the middle of last year.

First, we need to acknowledge that the bigger and more complex the organization, the more challenging this endeavor will be. It will also require in many cases a longer-term, more incremental, more flexible organizational transformation to #WorkTimeReduction than the prescription for the mostly small to medium sized businesses that took part in the #4DayWeek trials. That was a big part of my motivation for teaming up with Curium Solutions and Curium Solutions US to set up Work Time Reduction, as they bring the necessary experience and expertise in supporting big, complex change management and operational excellence projects in larger companies to the table.

Second, we need to acknowledge that if the movement is to be scalable and inclusive, we need to find a way to support companies who have limited resources to bring in outside expertise, companies who don’t speak the same language as us, and companies in countries where we don’t have on-the-ground infrastructure.

That’s why I’ve been working on building a collaborative solution that leverages our knowhow and networks in this field, alongside cutting-edge, market-leading technological capacity and software expertise. Our goal this year is to deliver a cost-efficient, universally available product with the scalability to support leaders, managers and employees not only to change their organizational policies and operations to accommodate a shorter working week, but to change their culture, processes and behaviors, as well as measuring the impact of this change. This will be a one-stop-shop for smaller, more nimble organizations with relatively flat structures and straightforward decision-making processes to move to a shorter work week.

Third, and arguably the most pressing challenge, we need to acknowledge that if the model to adopt shorter working weeks is not one-size-fits-all, then our model to support them shouldn’t be one-size fits all either. That’s why through our expert advisory group, our partnerships with industry specialists and shorter working week pioneers with sector-specific expertise, and the new industry-specific programs we have announced this week, we have developed a tailored approach designed to meet the company’s individual needs and challenges as well as their specific industry context and circumstances.

We’re starting with law, insurance, marketing and professional services, although more will follow later this year. These particular sectors have been chosen as while they have been underrepresented for the most part in recent global experiments, we believe that with the right approach, there is a significant opportunity to reduce working time in these professions without loss of pay or productivity. We have the expertise and the model in place to make this a reality, and the slower pace of adoption to date in these industries only means that the competitive advantage and differentiation that will flow to those who embrace this new workplace innovation will be even greater.

There is an opportunity now to apply the learnings and positive findings from recent global trials and case studies to industry-specific, company-specific, even department-specific challenges. We’ve assembled the people and built the roadmap to make this happen.

Many businesses who ended up moving to the ‘gold standard’ 4-day, 32-hour work week model in the trials had previously had successful experiments with incremental work time reduction models like 9-day fortnights, half-day Fridays, summer Fridays or ‘flex’ Fridays, which gave them the confidence and the buy-in to go all the way. We need to support businesses to get on the road and start heading in the right direction, as well as those who are ready to head straight for the final destination. Many others that work in industries with irregular hours will need support in designing alternative work time reduction models to the #4DayWeek, accommodating shorter work days and different shift patterns.

My prediction for 2023 is that the thing that will move the needle most for the shorter working week movement will be mid-market, strategically significant companies across different industries embracing the #4DayWeek or other forms of #WorkTimeReduction. This will have a competitive ripple effect that will make the Fortune 500 companies who have been watching this with interest, and maybe even some scepticism and fear, stand up and take notice.

We’ve zoomed out and built the broad case. Now it’s time to zoom back in again, meet people where they are at, and truly understand what it takes to pull this off for different companies with very different DNA. What is the feasibility and impact of shorter working weeks in these industries, and what exactly does best practice look like? We’re about to find out.

Although they often go by unnoticed, rest notes are a vital part of musical structure in the same way that rest is essential to our productivity and happiness.

If we forget the rests, the music doesn’t sound the same.

The same applies to us – we don’t sound the same if we forget to rest. We lack:

👍 Enthusiasm

💠 Clarity

🤗 Empathy

😑 Patience


Shorter working weeks provide the time needed for family and friends, your hobby, personal admin, household maintenance, and simply resting.

If you’re curious about how to start the journey to reduced work time, please get in touch to explore how we at Work Time Reduction can support you and your business.

I’ve been thinking about two big similarities between the shift to remote working and the shift to shorter working weeks.

One similarity was the impact of the pandemic.

Covid didn’t make remote working possible for the huge volume of organizations and industries that moved remote en masse. We didn’t invent virtual meetings or asynchronous communication technologies in response to the pandemic, they were already at our disposal long before covid.

It made it permissible – the idea that you could run a global company from your kitchen table, or be just as productive if not more so when your workplace is your home, became acceptable to business and to society.

I believe the same to be true for the concept of a shorter working week. Decades of progress in the form of globalization, digitalization, the advent of the internet and email, and so much more, meant that we already had the productive capacity pre-pandemic to spend less time at work without impacting performance and results.

But the way in which the pandemic disrupted many deeply rooted preconceptions about work and the workweek opened the eyes of many leaders, managers and employees to the possibility that it didn’t have to be this way forever. It didn’t even need to stay this way right now.

Where once the 5-day week seemed like the only show in town and the 4-day week seemed like a pie in the sky fantasy, now for very many people the 5-day week looks like an outdated relic designed for the second industrial era and an economy built around manufacturing, and the 4-day week feels long overdue.

There’s one other big similarity between the move to remote working and the move to a shorter working week. For companies that moved from five days in person to a hybrid or remote model, they needed to flip a decades-old compulsion to value and reward presenteeism, and focus instead on measurement based on results and outcomes. The performative value placed on being the first person to come into the office or the last person to leave was ended, so sharpening actual metrics of performance became essential. The same is true with the shorter working week.

They needed to rely much more on asynchronous communications when people’s schedules became more flexible, and needed to become much more deliberate about how they structured the workweek between collaboration, administration, focused work and rest. The same is true with the shorter working week.

That’s why for many companies that have successfully moved to remote or hybrid working, in many ways this involved a more significant organizational change than moving to a shorter working week will likely present. They often see the four-day week not as a radical departure, but as a logical next step.

Today, more than half of the world’s companies offer some capacity for remote working. 1 in every 5 employees globally work fully from home. Work location has changed forever for millions. Who would have predicted that 10 years ago?

10 years from now, 4-day weeks will be the new normal and work time reduction will come as standard. How long we work for and the way in which we work will change forever for millions. #ItsAboutTime for leaders to get ahead of the curve.

Finding balance in our lives is a challenge few feel they have mastered. Juggling family, friends, work, caring responsibilities and hobbies needs more than a swanky app. What it really takes is courage. Courage to say no and courage to say “we can do this differently”. 

Remote work, despite its many benefits, has further perpetuated the “always on” culture when your workplace is your home. Flexible work is a catchphrase rather than a reality if we’re not in control of our own boundaries.  

The Harvard Business Review found that employees can spend up to 80% of their workdays communicating with colleagues in emails, meetings, and instant messaging apps on and off the clock.

But, what if?

Shorter working weeks have proven to increase balance in our lives and job satisfaction. 

The biggest skeptics when it comes to the #4DayWeek are some of the most ambitious people I know. They remain unconvinced that by reducing the working week, this won’t negatively impact their output and in turn their success. 

Research by Dr Juliet B. Schor on global four-day week pilots showed overwhelmingly positive results on work-life balance and productivity. “At the beginning of the trial, we asked them to rate their current work ability compared to their lifetime best as a measure of self-rated productivity, and that went up significantly. People felt at the end of the trial that they were more productive, they just were performing significantly better.

And then we asked, ‘Do you want to continue the trial?’ Some 97% said yes. We then asked how much they valued a four-day week by asking them how much more money they would require to work a five-day week at their next job. Some 42% said they’d require between 26% and 50% more pay,13% said they’d require more than 50% more pay, and 13% said no amount of money could make them go back to how things were before.”

Interestingly, it is also often ambitious, high achieving leaders who have the foresight to see that employees living balanced lives are more likely to stay with the company, be engaged with their work and in turn to achieve a high level of productivity. 

The difference between these two groups is courage. Courage to lead and not be afraid of failure, and also recognition that we can do anything, but we cannot do everything. 

Do less to get more

A shorter working week creates the time and space needed to prioritize things other than work and not feel guilty. Guilt is a feeling that has  become more and more prevalent in our lives, particularly for working parents. The struggle to work hard and achieve your career goals while also dedicating yourself to your family can be extremely difficult. 

After switching to a four-day workweek to address retention challenges in August 2021, 95% of the 250 employees at Boise-based non-profit Healthwise felt the policy positively impacted their work-life balance.

Some of the stories that we hear at Work Time Reduction about what reduced work time means for people are just incredibly powerful, whether that’s being able to do the school pickups, spending more time with elderly relatives, learning a new skill, or having time for a hobby. This is something that makes a truly transformative difference in people’s lives.

3️⃣ recurring work resolutions that all of us should take heed of in 2023 and beyond:


If you treat time as the scarce, precious resource that it is, your work will be more efficient and productive, and your life will be more balanced and fulfilling.


If you get better at prioritizing at work, you will set yourself up to achieve your goals outside of work. Regarding everything as a priority will inevitably lead to a creep effect where your work eats into your time off more and more.


Not just between work and life, but between focused work and ‘on demand’ work. Appreciate the value of time to ‘switch off’ and recharge outside of work, as well as the value of being ‘switched on’ to important tasks free of interruption while at work.

All of us, myself included, can strive to do a better job of these 3 things individually. Being more deliberate with your time is a good creed to work by. 🕙

But for truly transformative, long-lasting change, this needs to be a collective endeavour in workplaces, that really attacks the key company-wide drivers of wasteful inefficiency, missed opportunity and unfulfilled potential.

As individuals, we don’t have the agency to change the way we do business more fundamentally without a structured approach. No one of us can resolve to do meetings differently, manage distractions differently, reform organizational processes, or use technology more mindfully on our own. That requires a team-wide effort.👬👫👭

That’s where a Work Time Reduction shorter working week change project comes in. 🚧

Working in the business of organizational change offers a constant window into reinvention. I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from many inspiring and innovative leaders throughout 2022. 💡

In 2023, I’m looking forward to helping more and more organizations rethink their processes, practices, culture and mindset, to transform the way they work and change the lives of their people. 2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣3️⃣

One of the biggest misconceptions about the shorter working week is that it is a one-size fits all, rigid model based around Thursday being the new Friday. In fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth. 🤥

Although average working hours decreased by 6 hours on average in the recent #4DayWeek global trial results, less than half of the companies that took part adopted a model where all employees took Friday off. 🤔

This model, where feasible, has a lot of upside. Having a single universal day off maximizes the availability of your team for internal collaboration and team-working, and having a three-day weekend maximizes the benefit of extra time for rest and recuperation. However, it won’t work for everyone, particularly those in customer-facing, availability-dependent roles. ☎️

Not only does the appropriate schedule depend on your business and your industry, it might even depend on what department of the business you are in. 👨‍💼👩‍💼

Not everyone can afford to take Fridays off. But the vast majority of businesses have the productive capacity and technological tools at their disposal to start working smarter, and start working less. And many can achieve a four-day week by taking a creative approach to scheduling, prioritization and resource demand. 💡

For those that aren’t quite there yet, there are improvements to processes and changes to work practices that can help their business become more efficient, and give their people, who often might be regularly overworking their contracted #workinghours, some of their time back. 🕓👍

And lots of businesses in between are experimenting with everything from 9-day fortnights, to shorter work days, to treating Fridays as a half-day, a ‘flex’ or ‘freedom’ day with no meetings or fixed work commitments, or a day off in the summer. ☀️

Often this is a step in the right direction to a four-day week, and sometimes it might be the final destination. 🗺📍

It doesn’t matter where you are on your journey. We at the Work Time Reduction can help you on the road to work time reduction. 🚸

In every political campaign headquarters all over the world, special advisors and strategists are working to find new and innovative ways to increase voter turnout. But where do the voters go then? Do they stay involved in the campaign? Do they know the battles fought to deliver what was promised, or the details of why it wasn’t possible this time? 

People’s association with organizations that purport to represent their interests – political parties, trade unions, religious institutions, and community-based organizations are at historic lows, as is their trust in government institutions. 

Political engagement is a principle, not a hobby

A robust democracy depends on a strong turn-out at elections. However, without participation beyond election time by citizens in political decisions, through consultation, citizens’ panels and forums, and extended deliberative dialogue, the electorate feel totally detached. Low levels of participation have a lot to do with cynicism about the political process, but long hours in paid employment add to the disincentives and help to create a vicious cycle of disengagement.

A report prepared for the Ford Foundation by Hahrie Han a political science professor at the University of California, sets out a framework for how people can participate in the political process in ways that build their sense of agency and encourage further participation:

Means to engage. People must be able to participate. We need to remove barriers to participation and implement policies and procedures that make it easier for people to vote. 

Motivated to engage. People must want to participate. It’s not enough for voting to be easy; people have to want to take part.

Meaningful engagement. People must feel their participation actually matters. It must have a tangible impact on policy decisions, and improve people’s lives.

Democracy takes time

Learning about political issues, getting involved in decision-making, joining and supporting political parties, campaigning and voting all take time. 

Those who work 40+ hour weeks, participate in family life, social life and take part in a hobby, simply do not have time to engage in their communities in a meaningful way without feeling like they have to sacrifice something else.

Freeing up time for participation will enrich civil society, strengthen democratic processes, and make it easier for voters to hold politicians to account.

Many of you will have seen the coverage about the success of the #4DayWeek trials, and you might find it hard to get your head around. 😕

You’re working in a busy job, for a busy company, and the idea that you could get your work done as well if not better in four days rather than five … well, it might seem like a bit of a stretch. ⛔️

But have a think about all of the times you’ve been in a meeting and wondered why it was necessary, why it was going on so long, and why you even needed to be there? 🕙

Have a think about all of the times you were in the zone, making real progress on something really important, and you get needlessly interrupted by something that turned out to be insignificant… and how long it took you to get back into your flow.⏳️

Think about how many times you’ve felt that the way you do certain things at your company is outdated, wasteful or just not quite as good as it could be, and that there’s a different, better way to do it.💡

What if I was to tell you that reduced working time is all about questioning things, changing things, and creating the environment that allows you to be more productive at work and in turn to make the company you work for more efficient. 👌

That it’s really about giving you more time to focus on what really matters when you’re at work, so that you have more time to focus on what really matters outside of work. ❤️

In 2022, it shouldn’t be about the performance of hard work, working long hours, wearing it as a badge of honor, and sacrificing the things that really matter in your life, but instead about prioritization and the drivers of real results. 🎯

The real measure of high professional standards should be the ability to produce the same quality in less time. 📏

We used to allow professional standards to be defined by the length of time you spent at the office, at the desk or on the clock.

We used to enable those who were prepared to sacrifice their time with family, their work-life balance and their wellbeing for their career to wear it as a badge of honor.

No more.

The future of work is here, and it has no place for performative renditions of what ‘hard work’ looks like.

💪Working smarter is hardcore.

💪Focusing on the drivers of real results rather than the illusion that working long hours equals greater productivity is hardcore.

💪Embracing a change in mindset and culture rather than doubling down on ‘the way we’ve always done things here’ is hardcore.

💪Producing the same work to the same or a higher standard than your competition in less time is hardcore.

💪Finding efficiencies and unlocked potential in your business and giving your employees their time back in return is hardcore.

It’s time for old-school, machismo leadership to be consigned to the dustbin of history.