Best 4 Day Work Week Alternatives – 7 Proven Strategies!


The 4 day work week model is becoming more prevalent in workplaces. However, this model doesn’t work for each company or indeed each individual. For that reason, let’s take a look at 7 of the most popular 4 day work week alternatives. Discover this and more by reading on!

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4 day work week alternatives

The below table highlights the alternatives to a 4 day work week.

4 Day Work Week AlternativesDescription
Remote workingWorking away from the office to save on commute time, expenses etc.
Flexible workingFlexible start and finish times during the day
9/80 work hoursWork 9 hours a day, and 8 hours on Fridays. Take every 2nd Friday off
Compressed work hoursWork the required hours in fewer days, e.g., 3 days of 12 hours
Annualized hoursSpecifies hours per year that must be worked up as opposed to set days and hours
No set hoursWork any hours required to get the work done
Unlimited holidaysTake as many holidays once work is done

The above table gives you just a flavor of the alternative models to a 4 day work week. You’ve probably never even heard of some of these! Below, I elaborate on each of these flexible working strategies. Find out how they compare and which could be a match for you.

According to a Zenefits study, 73% of workers stated that flexible increased their job satisfaction. Source

Best 4 Day Work Week Alternatives - 7 Proven Strategies! - Man's hands typing on silver laptop

4 day work week alternatives

Remote working

Remote working involves working from a location other than the workplace, e.g., home, working hub. This is one of the most common flexible working strategies available in companies.

Working from home grants staff an elevated level of freedom along with saving time and money on commuting, lunches and even childcare.

Working remotely also minimizes distractions of water cooler chat and people calling by your desk. These factors combined can allow a worker to be more focused and productive.

Plus, if they need to nip out for certain errands, such as picking up children from work or a doctor appointment, they have more flexibility to do so.

Flexible working

This concept allows workers to have varied start and finish times as opposed to the traditional 9 – 5 hours. Employers often establish core hours where all staff must be present.

This means that meetings and tasks can be completed while ensuring all necessary workers are present.

Within this model, workers are usually required to work a set number of hours in the week. They just have more choice about when to fit those hours in.

Flexible working hours grants workers the ability to work around their life commitments, e.g., dropping kids to school or creche, arranging early morning or early afternoon appointments.

Let’s not forget how difficult it is to find a bank that’s open when you’re finished work!

Plus, if you can start early and leave earlier, you often avoid rush hour traffic too!

9/80 work hours

The 9/80 work hours model involves working 5 days a week followed by 4 days a week every second week.  People tend to work 9 hours a day, and 8 hours on Fridays. They then take a day off every second week.

For example, work 9 hours Monday to Thursday, 8 hours on Friday. Then, every 2nd week, the Friday is a day off.

Workers are still working a full week in terms of hours and getting a day off every second week.

This is a close alternative to the 4-day work week. It allows for every second week to be a 4-day week and doesn’t reduce hours.

Compressed work hours

Compressed work hours involves still completing the required hours, e.g., 40 hours in a week but over a fewer number of days.

For instance, working 4 days of 10 hours as opposed to working 5 days of 8 hours.

This should increase productivity as fewer start-up meetings are required in the week. Plus, you’re still putting in the same number of hours and getting the same pay and holidays.

The only challenge would be if you find these 10 hour shifts tiring or have commitments, such as school runs, etc.

Annualized hours

Annualized hours contracts will specify a number of hours that must be worked in a given year. There is no stipulation about what times or days that these hours need to be completed.

Essentially, a worker could complete 3 or 4 workdays with higher hours per day.

Or, they would work 7 shorter days a week if they wanted too.

Some people may prefer to put in longer hours during the colder weather and free up the summer with shorter days to enjoy the weather.

No set hours

Probably the most radical and loose of all the work models is the no set hours strategy. The core requirement is that an employee completes all their work. There are no specified hours that need to be spent sitting behind a desk. Once the work is done, you are free to stop working.

This model offers a mechanism for people to get the work completed faster and save on redundant time counting down the hours to finish work.

It also helps with motivation as they will most likely want to complete the work faster. When this is the case, people tend to be more efficient and focused.

Tip: Frequent breaks are important, whether they are small breaks to get up from your desk or breakfast and lunch breaks.

Unlimited holidays

This uncapped holiday allowance concept is one of the newer strategies that has been trialed and implemented in some companies. Essentially, there is no limitation on the number of days off that you can take.

The idea is that if you can complete the work in the required deadline and there are no pressing issues or meetings that you need to be present for, you can take as much time off as you want.

This is a far cry from the zero annual leave entitlement in the USA. Or even the UK statutory minimum 28 days annual leave per year that people are bound by.

While employers may be concerned that employees will overindulge on time off, workers still need to get the work done.

Some companies that trialed the unlimited holidays strategy feared that this might be the case. However, staff often ended up taking fewer days than normal due to concerns that they would not meet their deadlines.

That in addition to the fact that they were no longer required to take a statutory minimum number of days off.

Tip: A service-based company could consider a work from home policy at least 1 day a week if a 4-day work week wasn’t feasible.

Conclusion

The 4 day work week is only one of an array of flexible working strategies than can be utilized to achieve a better work-life balance along with greater productivity!

With such work models growing in demand, it’s reassuring to know that there are multiple choices that can suit both an employer and employee.

With a greater number of days off, higher productivity and lower stress levels, it’s no wonder that companies who implement such strategies have greater employee retention and satisfaction.

If you would like to further enhance your knowledge on work setup and organization, I have written some articles that are without a doubt worth a look.

Here are some other useful articles I wrote that you should go check out:

  1. Does 4 Day Work Week Save Companies Money? + Proven Results!
  2. Does A 4 Day Work Week Save Money? Discover How to Save Now!
  3. 4 Day Work Week V 5 Day – Full Of Surprising Facts & Results
  4. Pros And Cons Of Sharing A Home Office + Surprising Insights
  5. How To Share A Desk At Home – 8 Instant Steps To Happiness!

Recommended products:

  1. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (link on Amazon)
  2. Anti-fatigue comfort mat with lifetime warranty (link on OfficeFurniture2Go)
  3. CoolMesh Pro Multi-Function Chair  (link on OfficeFurniture2Go)

Sharon

With years of both professional and first-hand experience in office equipment and work settings, I now want to help you avoid making mistakes that countless others do. Whether you're studying or working from home, this site will help you create the ultimate haven for working safely, comfortably and productively in!

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