Praise to The 4 Day Work Week

By Amelia

- Endobox founder - Women deserve better - Nature-loving fashionista - Noisy introvert

January 20, 2021

It’s Wednesday, it’s my day off, and I’m sipping on a frothy hot chocolate whilst munching on mini-eggs and typing this blog.  Monday and Tuesday were exhausting. On top of my Endoboxes work, I’m currently working as a physio in the NHS, as well as keeping the private MSK physio work going. I love my job, and I even enjoy being at work, but regardless, I’ve made myself a rule. I just don’t work Wednesdays. Exactly one year ago I told my employer I needed a 4 day week because I found 5 days too much. I haven’t looked back since.

My dad is not a fan of this model of working. I know that many people will think I’m lazy. I’ve lost count of the number of times he has suggested that I get a full-time 5 day a week ‘proper job’, as he calls it. As a man who worked full-time as a head of department and teacher for 30+ years I can see how I upset the barrel cart on this one.  People of my dad’s age certainly don’t deem this unorthodox style of working, this crazy 4 day work week, as normal.  To be honest lots of people my age would probably agree, after all, don’t’ lower earnings equate to a lower standard of living?  If you earn less wont your mortgage be smaller? The answer to these questions isn’t a simple yes or no. In my mind the way that you structure your work week needs to holistically consider all of your personal needs, and not just your pay check.

I logged into the government website last night and it told me I had about 60 years ‘til retirement. Now, of course, early retirement is an option we all have if we can afford to. But let’s imagine that along with most of the population I really do retire when I’m 65. That’s a bloody long time to be working.

Allow me to tell you more about the main reasons that I sing the praises of my 4 day work week.

I like getting the most out of my weekends. Having a day off in the week to myself means I can recoup my energy mid-week, so that when I get to Friday, I’m not exhausted. I’m still dead keen for the weekend, but I don’t ‘need’ it as such. I remember when I used to do 5 days working straight, and by the time it got to Friday 5pm I genuinely felt like I wanted to spend the whole of Friday night and Saturday in bed sleeping because I was so tired. The standard working system says we get have to work 5 days, and have 2 days to ourself, but I found myself spending at least one of those 2 days recovering from fatigue due to the 5 days work.. so effectively that meant 1 day off.  That felt far less like working to live, and far more like living to work (spot the key difference).

I like my quiet time. I get the whole house to myself for the day.  I don’t feel this requires any further explanation. It’s nothing short of bliss.

I’m learning to spend time with me.  On weekends I’ll often see my family and friends (these days mainly over zoom, but still), and I find I often don’t get much down time to myself. I don’t you know about you but personally I find that Zoom calls are often far more intrusive to my day than the allocated 45 mins. They often take far long longer, and even if they don’t, the anticipation of the call and having to make a slot for it somehow seem to eat into my day. On my days off, I don’t have zoom calls, as most of my family and friends are at work. It’s just uninterrupted me time. I take time for self-care. I sleep in a little later, read, cook tasty food, tidy my living space, watch a silly film, get some admin done, and work on Endoboxes projects.

I just feel happier.  I recently turned 30, and the realisation dawned on me that I need to make a better effort to prioritise my wellbeing.  I feel like I’m more ‘me’ than ever. I know what I like doing, and I know what I dislike. That’s because each Wednesday I am aware that the whole day Is my own to do with it what I want.

A year ago I made the decision that I’d rather earn a little less, and live a lot more. I wanted to take ownership of my time, and that’s what I feel I’ve done. For the reasons above it has done me a world of good. Recognizing the need to safeguard my wellbeing is without a doubt the greatest responsibility that I have, and taking one day out per week to do that is the greatest gift I could ever give myself. If what I’ve said resonates with you, and you feel the 5 day week doesn’t work for you, please do ask for a meeting with your employer, and see whether you can tweak your work schedule to make more time for you.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that one day my circumstances might mean that I have to sacrifice my precious Wednesdays. But for as long as I can, I’m relishing every minute.

Now… I’d best go check on my bubble bath 😉