SHORTLISTED FOR THE BUSINESS BOOK AWARDS 2021
In The 4 Day Week, entrepreneur and business innovator Andrew Barnes makes the case for the four-day work 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 in more than seventy countries. 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.