“What We Learned from Trialling a Four-Day Week”

Thu 10 Mar 2022 11:00 am UK Time

• A shorter working week sounds great in theory…
• …but how would it work for you and your agency?
• In this session, Dan Hinton of Pixelfish shares his experience of implementing a four-day week and the impact it had on his business.

Since January, Dan’s team at Pixelfish have been working on a four-and-a-half-day week.

“Some days your head is just not quite with it, and you come away from a working day and go, ‘What have I actually done?’ The four-day week aims to minimise days like that, so each one is more productive, and more purposeful as well.”

There’s a lot of buzz around the four-day week right now, but what does it actually look like in practice?

Dan Hinton, founder of Pixelfish, trialled it last summer.

“We thought we’d give it a go last summer for a combination of reasons,” says Dan. “It’s a nice way to give back to the team, and in terms of the natural ebb and flow of our workload, July and August are usually a bit quieter.”

Despite the buzz around a shorter working week, there were mixed results:

  • Most of team welcomed the change with open arms, as it leaned into their desire to have a healthier work-life-balance.
  • Some found it difficult as they enjoyed their job and wanted to work as much as possible.
  • Dan, the founder, experienced mixed feelings – he felt like he was losing control of things.

“Because I’m the founder, I’m wearing many hats and doing lots of different jobs,” says Dan. “There’s always more I can do, and it just seemed like I was losing out on that.”

“Also, Friday can be a time when people will drop an email or make a phone call to say, ‘Hey, we’ve got this upcoming project’,” he says. “So, there was a fear of missing out there too.”

Since January, Pixelfish have been working with a refreshed version of the four-day week, with everyone now on a four-and-a-half-day week contract. 

“I’m personally taking two whole Fridays off a month, and then working two whole Fridays,” says Dan. “So, half of the month, I’ll be working a four-day week. But in terms of the business, there will always be someone working on a Friday – or that’s the idea.”

“We’ve also got rid of this notion of if you work four days, you somehow need to try and get five days’ worth of time in four days. The whole point is to try and provide more space to do something else.”

“Obviously, I want our output to be as great as it can be, but I want them to have a rich fulfilled life around that, because I think that will ultimately lead to them being better at their job.” 

Come along to hear the lessons Dan has learned from trialling a shorter working week and find out whether the four-day fad is here to stay.