The traditional working week is no longer fit for purpose in a digitally-driven, hyper-connected era. The 4 Day Week presents a compelling case for a sustainable, profitable future in which we work less but are more productive, engaged and satisfied
In The 4 Day Week, entrepreneur and business innovator Andrew Barnes makes the case for the four-day week as the answer to many of the ills of the 21st-century global economy.
Barnes conducted an experiment in his own business, the New Zealand trust company Perpetual Guardian, and asked his staff to design a four-day week that would permit them to meet their existing productivity requirements on the same salary but with a 20% cut in work hours. The outcomes of this trial, which no business leader had previously attempted on these terms, were stunning. People were happier and healthier, more engaged in their personal lives, and more focused and productive in the office.
The world of work has seen a dramatic shift in recent times: the former security and benefits associated with permanent employment are being displaced by the less stable gig economy. Barnes explains the dangers of a focus on flexibility at the expense of hard-won worker protections, and argues that with the four-day week, we can have the best of all worlds: optimal productivity, work-life balance, worker benefits and, at long last, a solution to pervasive economic inequities such as the gender pay gap and lack of diversity in business and governance.
THE 4 DAY WEEK is a practical, how-to guide for business leaders and employees alike that is applicable to nearly every industry. Using qualitative and quantitative data from research gathered through the Perpetual Guardian trial and other sources by the University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology, the book presents a step-by-step approach to preparing businesses for productivity-focused flexibility, from the necessary cultural conditions to the often complex legislative considerations.
The story of Perpetual Guardian's unprecedented work experiment has made headlines around the world and stormed social media, reaching a global audience over 4.5 billion. A mix of trenchant analysis, personal observation and actionable advice, THE 4 DAY WEEK is an essential guide for leaders and workers seeking to make a change for the better in their work world.
Great books stretch us. They broaden and deepen intellect, trigger emotion, create momentum and generate hope. The Four Day Week delivers that
Barnes is truly evangelical about the benefits (fewer commuter journeys) and the effects on the gender pay gap. He highlights compelling evidence around the positive financial impact too, claiming his own firm saw profitability increase by 12.5% since the trial period. The writing is punchy and . . . offers plenty of evidence for anyone seeking to [implement a four-day week] - The Scotsman
The 4 Day Week is well researched and up to date. It offers a springboard for further investigation. Barnes is thorough in addressing obstacles. This book certainly opens the opportunity for conversation in higher levels of management and between each of us about how and why we work - NZ Booklovers
This book is no radical left manifesto, but a research-based study that the authors firmly believe can be the future of capitalism and a prosperous economy. The 4 Day Week is an enjoyable read, with thought provoking ideas and research. - FT Adviser
More flexible working hours and the 4-day-week are long overdue and it is mind-boggling why policy-makers have not been pushing for this earlier given the pressures on work-life balance. Luckily there are visionary business leaders like Andrew Barnes who dare to implement progressive company policies and have them evaluated scientifically . . . This book is a must-read for all progressive managers that care about people, profits and planet - because, yes, a 4-day-week would also make our economies more sustainable. If ever there was a triple win, this would have to be it
Andrew Barnes has made a career of market-changing growth and innovation. He was chairman of realestate.com.au at the time of its IPO on the ASX, led the sale of Bestinvest, a $5.7 billion UK wealth management business, to private capital and as managing director was instrumental in the creation and listing of Australian Wealth Management Limited on the ASX.
Most recently Andrew triggered a revolution of the entire fiduciary and legal services industries in New Zealand, and his conception of the four-day week - the flexible work revolution - has made him a globally sought-after leader. He speaks to international audiences on the future of work and subjects such as governance, philanthropy, business leadership, entrepreneurship, company culture and change management.
Andrew lives in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. He holds a Master of Arts in Law and Archaeology from Selwyn College at the University of Cambridge.