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  • Inside Out Communications Consulting

The four day work week works - and we’re proof of that!

“Well, I tumble outta bed and stumble to the kitchen, pour myself a cup of ambition, yawn and stretch and try to come to life…”

When Dolly Parton sang about "working nine to five", the traditional week at the office wasn’t a four day schedule.

The UK has begun to trial the four day work week recently, following a similar move in New Zealand, the U.S and Japan. Researchers will analyse how employees respond to having an extra rest day. Areas of the study will include stress and burnout, job and life satisfaction, health, sleep, energy use and travel during a six-month pilot organised by 4 Day Week Global.

The pilot spans across companies from education, workplace consultancy, housing, skincare, building and construction recruitment services, food and beverages, and digital marketing.

But is it too good to be true? Here at Inside Out, we’ve been working a four day week since the team formed in March 2020. Working hours are compressed into Monday to Thursday with no loss of pay. The team are fully remote across the country. While these days form a structured working pattern, the success of this schedule is underpinned by a strong working culture.

Regular but brief ‘stand-up’ meetings on a daily basis are an opportunity to clink a virtual coffee mug and share our priorities. It’s also a chance to see how everyone is doing - talk about any challenges or wins from the last few days, and share some camaraderie before getting into the meatier tasks on the schedule.

Of course, the world keeps turning outside of those hours - some flexibility is required. If a client’s week goes awry, we flex to accommodate their needs. An important all-staff communication may need to go out on a Friday. Time zones for a catch up call don’t always align. You can’t expect an interview for a case study in the US to work at 3pm in the UK.

However, that flexibility works both ways. And this is where the four day work week is inextricably linked to organisational culture. Quarterly away days for the team to catch-up in person for business planning, brainstorming and reconnecting as a group helps us to bond, socialise and maintain that hierarchy of needs.

A photo of the team at our last away day in June,

hosted by the lovely Hazel on the North West coast.

Asynchronous working - the practice of working in a team that does not require all members to be online simultaneously, needs careful planning, shared digital platforms, and most of all - trust.

Rather like learning styles, one size does not fit all. While one colleague may be on top form first thing in the morning, ask another to brainstorm at 3pm and the ideas will keep on bubbling. This way of working also allows flexibility to manage work-life balance.

The calendar offers a framework that gives the opportunity to focus on meeting deadlines for clients early, and digitally switch off for three days. Although this can be an intensive way to work, it allows the chance to adapt and identify ways of working more efficiently.

Fridays can find us watching a matinee at the cinema, volunteering in a charity shop, spending time with the family or just catching up on life admin. Our four day work week brings the schedule (for the most part). But the team culture brings the heart - the drive, commitment and motivation to succeed within that framework.

We’re always happy to answer questions about how it works for us. If you’re looking for a case study example or a chat over a coffee - get in touch!

Inside Out is an award winning internal communications consultancy, specialising in digital transformation, major IT change, and cyber safety.

Need a hand getting your people on board with a new operating system? Want to upskill your leaders with storytelling workshops? Or are you keen to increase awareness around major cyber security threats in your sector? Whatever it is, we're here to help. Get in touch at


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