I’ve recently stumbled over this wired article  where the benefits and drawbacks of having a 4-day work week were conclued from scientific research and “experiments” done in the field.
Seems like there is a momentum recently as more companies (but also governments) around the world explore the benefits of the 4-day work week:
𝘓𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘴𝘶𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘳, 𝘜𝘚 𝘙𝘦𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘔𝘢𝘳𝘬 𝘛𝘢𝘬𝘢𝘯𝘰 (𝘋-𝘊𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘢) 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘦𝘥 𝘭𝘦𝘨𝘪𝘴𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘩𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘬 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘬 𝘵𝘰 32 𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘴𝘢𝘤𝘳𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘱𝘢𝘺, 𝘢𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘥 𝘰𝘧 𝘢 𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘶𝘳-𝘥𝘢𝘺 𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘬 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘜𝘚 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘊𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘥𝘢 𝘪𝘯 𝘈𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘭. 𝘐𝘯 𝘌𝘶𝘳𝘰𝘱𝘦, 𝘢𝘯 𝘐𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘩 𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘶𝘳-𝘥𝘢𝘺 𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘬 𝘬𝘪𝘤𝘬𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘧𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘬, 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘜𝘒 𝘪𝘯 𝘑𝘶𝘯𝘦. 𝘌𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘺-𝘴𝘪𝘹 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘐𝘤𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘢𝘭𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘺 𝘮𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴, 𝘰𝘳 𝘨𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘯𝘦𝘨𝘰𝘵𝘪𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮, 𝘢𝘧𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘢 𝘭𝘢𝘳𝘨𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘶𝘥𝘺 𝘧𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘢 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘬 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘭-𝘣𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘴, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘣𝘶𝘳𝘯𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘴𝘢𝘤𝘳𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘵𝘺. 
Wherever part-time was allowed employees saw it as a mixed blessing: While others considered it a “godsend” others found it rather stressful to do the same amount of work within less time. But reducing work hours while having the same work-load on your plate misses the point. Part-time is not only about work-life balance as perceived by the majority:
“𝘈𝘯𝘥𝘳𝘦𝘸 𝘉𝘢𝘳𝘯𝘦𝘴, 𝘤𝘰𝘧𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘯𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘧𝘪𝘵 4 𝘋𝘢𝘺 𝘞𝘦𝘦𝘬 𝘎𝘭𝘰𝘣𝘢𝘭, 𝘴𝘢𝘺𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘴 “𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬-𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘣𝘢𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦. 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦, 𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘣𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘱𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘧𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘣𝘺 𝘨𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘧𝘧 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘰𝘧𝘧.” 𝘉𝘢𝘳𝘯𝘦𝘴’ 𝘰𝘳𝘨𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘻𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘪𝘴 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘶𝘳-𝘥𝘢𝘺 𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘬 𝘢𝘤𝘳𝘰𝘴𝘴 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴, 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘮𝘰𝘵𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 100/80/100 𝘮𝘰𝘥𝘦𝘭: 100 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘪𝘯 80 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 100 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘱𝘢𝘺. 𝘔𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘳𝘴’ 𝘣𝘪𝘨𝘨𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘣𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘴𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘯𝘶𝘮𝘣𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘵𝘩 𝘰𝘧 𝘮𝘦𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴. “𝘊𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘮𝘦𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘣𝘦 𝘢𝘯 𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘪𝘭?” 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘱𝘰𝘱𝘶𝘭𝘢𝘳 𝘳𝘦𝘧𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘯 𝘢𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘺𝘦𝘦𝘴 𝘞𝘐𝘙𝘌𝘋 𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘬𝘦 𝘵𝘰” 
For the same reason I’ve put together these lines because many friends and (ex-)colleagues have reported some aversion towards part-time from their employers. I think employers should stop seeing part-time as some exotic type of work. Instead they should embrace flexible models and encourage their staff to work less and/or more efficiently.
Knowledge work (as the majority of us in the IT industry deals with) cannot be compared to typical “industrial work” with regard to the hours we spend working: Knowledge workers do not sit at the assembly lines and are expected to do X “amount of work” within a period of time. This is not how the creative process of programming, setting up a new infrastructure, come up with a new software design works like. Really “deep” work (a concept introduced by Cal Newport ) is about tackling hard things and to produce at an elite level, in terms of quality and speed.
So it’s not only about the time you spend working, but also about the quality of work you’re delivering. As for the time factor I can definitely say that when you squeeze the same amount of work into less time, work (seen as the quality of your results) intensifies. Working less - I mean the amount of time you have available to get something done - also means you cannot afford spending to much time in meetings, having X coffee breaks etc. While I’m still convinced that the social benefits of fiddling around with your colleagues, having lunch together, do some chit-chat are essential for a good work environment (and for your own well-being), part-time forces me to allocate my time more wisely.
“𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬 𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘲𝘶𝘦𝘦𝘻𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘧𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘥𝘢𝘺𝘴, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘶𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘧𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘴𝘶𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳. “𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴𝘯’𝘵 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘣𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳,” 𝘴𝘢𝘪𝘥 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘺𝘦𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘶𝘱 𝘮𝘢𝘥𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘤𝘩. 𝘈𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘴𝘢𝘪𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘩𝘦 𝘯𝘰 𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘳 𝘩𝘢𝘥 “𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘥𝘢𝘺𝘥𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘮 𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬.”” - 
While I work 4 days a week and compress lots of talks within less available time, I can completely 𝘥𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘴 again for the remaining 3 days. This allows me to take care of my mental health, exercise more, spend more time with family and recharge my batteries for the next week. This is a win-win situation for both parties: I indeed have a work-life balance which allows me to focus on the things that matter and prioritize my activies effectively.
So part-time is not only about working less. It’s more a commitment towards better productivity, efficiency and self-care.