How to Ask Your Boss For a 4 Day Work Week

Learn how to write an effective email / letter requesting a four-day workweek. Discover the benefits and tips for a successful request. Find work-life balance now!

How to Ask Your Boss For a 4 Day Work Week

As many businesses adopt shorter work weeks and experiment with four-day workweek trials, many employees are taking the initiative to request a shorter work week.

According to a Qualtrics survey, 92% of US workers prefer the idea of a 4-day workweek over the current 5-day standard. But how can you make this request, and what's involved in creating and submitting a letter to ask for a four-day workweek?

We're here to help. Here's an email & letter template you can use to request a 4 day work week (32hrs @ 100% salary) at your company:

4 Day Week Request Email Template (32hrs @ 100% salary)

Subject: Idea: What About a Four-Day Work Week?

Hi [Manager's Name],

Hope you're well! I've been thinking about a few things that could really make a difference to our team and I thought I'd share one with you.

Have you ever considered a four-day work week? It might sound a bit radical at first, but there's some really convincing research out there showing it's not just good for employees, but for companies and even the environment too.

Here are a few quick highlights from the recent pilot studies:

For the company:

  1. Productivity increased / output didn't change: people more efficiently when time is condensed (Parkinson's Law). Based on all the 4 day week pilots, revenue never dropped.
  2. We could save on costs: e.g. closing office 1 day per week, lower recruitment costs etc
  3. A four-day week could help us attract more high-quality applicants
  4. Staff would stay for longer: most people who switch to a 4 day week, could never go back to working 5 days
  5. Fewer sick days: healthier staff, are less absent staff
  6. Enhanced diversity and inclusivity: More flexibility attracts a wider range of potential employees.
  7. More time for the team to upskill
  8. There's even research to show it reduces workplace conflicts and increases innovation / creativity

For the team:

There's a whole lot of benefits for us, including:

  1. Less burnout / absenteeism
  2. Increase job satisfaction
  3. More sleep
  4. More exercise
  5. Increase work-life balance / happiness.
  6. Employees with children will less money spent on childcare
  7. It's better for our part-time staff as it's easier for them to progress in their careers.
  8. Lower childcare costs + more family time

For the world:

There's also a number of benefits to our planet / society.

  1. Less commuting means less traffic and fewer carbon emissions.
  2. Healthier employees could help take the pressure off our healthcare system.
  3. More free time could lead to more volunteering and community engagement.
  4. It support our aging population (more time to support the elderly)
  5. And it even gives a boost to the local economy (more free time = more local spending)

Here's a full breakdown of the pro's and cons:

What I love about this idea is that it aligns so well with our company values and goals. Plus, it could give us a competitive edge in the job market, show we care about work-life balance, and help boost team morale and loyalty.

I'd love to chat more about this if you're open to it. Maybe we could even look into ways we could trial this approach without causing too much disruption.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

Thanks, [Your Name]

4-Day Week Request Letter Template (32hrs @ 100% salary)

Subject: Proposal for a Four-Day Work Week

Dear [Boss's Name],

I am writing to propose a change in our current work structure which I believe could benefit both our team members and the organization as a whole. Specifically, I am suggesting a shift to a four-day work week, retaining our full-time hours over fewer days.

I know this may initially sound like a drastic / foolish change but many studies and trials across the globe have highlighted the benefits of this approach, many of which align closely with our company's values and strategic objectives.

Below are a few key benefits associated with a four-day work week:

Company Benefits:

  • Increased productivity: Our output is not expected to change, as we tend to work more efficiently when time is condensed (Parkinson's Law).
  • Reduced costs: We could decrease overheads by closing the office one day per week and potentially reduce recruitment costs.
  • More and better job applications: Shorter work weeks tend to attract a broader, higher quality pool of applicants.
  • Increased employee retention: Happier employees often stay longer, reducing turnover costs.
  • Promotion of gender equality: This structure encourages more equitable sharing of domestic duties.
  • Reduced absenteeism: A healthier work-life balance can lead to fewer sick days.
  • Enhanced diversity and inclusivity: More flexibility attracts a wider range of potential employees.
  • Increased innovation: Well-rested employees are typically more creative and innovative.
  • Less workplace conflicts: A more balanced, happier workforce can lead to better workplace relations.
  • More time for employees to upskill: Employees can utilize their additional time off for personal development.

Employee Benefits:

  • Reduced burnout: Several studies show that employees who work fewer days experience less burnout.
  • More sleep and exercise: More time off allows employees to prioritize health and wellness.
  • Better work-life balance: A shorter work week provides more time for personal and family activities.
  • Lower childcare costs: Less time at work allows for more family time, reducing the need for childcare.

World Benefits:

  • Reduced traffic congestion and environmental impact: Less commuting reduces both traffic and emissions.
  • Less strain on public healthcare: Healthier employees can reduce the overall burden on public health services.
  • Increased community engagement: More free time encourages volunteerism and supports an aging population.
  • Boost to local economy: More leisure time can result in increased local spending.

A detailed breakdown of the pro's and con's can be seen here:

Moving to a four-day work week could set us apart in the competitive job market and demonstrate our commitment to employee well-being and work-life balance. It has the potential to boost morale, productivity, and employee loyalty, thereby contributing positively to our overall organizational performance.

I believe that implementing this change could serve as a powerful tool in attracting, retaining, and nourishing the best talent in our industry. I welcome the opportunity to discuss this proposal further and explore ways we could trial this approach in a manner that aligns with our business operations.

Thank you for considering this proposal. Your support in continually improving our work environment is greatly appreciated.

Best Regards,

[Your Name]

Part Time Request Letter / Email Template

Subject: Request to Transition to Part Time

Dear [Manager's First Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I'm reaching out to discuss a potential modification to my work schedule. I am considering transitioning from my current full-time role to a part-time schedule, specifically working three days a week with a pro-rated salary.

I am committed to ensuring that this change would be smooth and beneficial for both myself and [Company Name]:

  • Transition Plan: I'd be happy to create a strategy that redistributes my tasks to accommodate this new schedule.
  • Training: I'm willing to provide additional training or documentation to team members if necessary.
  • Flexibility: I'm open to discussing which specific days would be ideal for my attendance based on our company's needs.

Beyond personal reasons, I'd also like to highlight some recent studies on the benefits of a four-day work week:

  • I'll be more productive: Parkinson's law states "work expands to fill the amount of time allocated to it". It's the reason KPI's / output didn't drop when 100's of companies switched to a 4 day week in recent trials.
  • I'll experience less burnout: An extra day to recharge can enhance my enthusiasm and effectiveness.
  • I'll achieve a better work-life balance: More personal time can rejuvenate my mindset for work.
  • I'll likely take fewer sick days: Additional rest can lead to improved overall health.
  • I'll be even more committed: Knowing [Company Name] supports my well-being will deepen my loyalty.
  • I'll have more time for personal development: I can upskill, benefiting both myself and the company.

I am confident that this arrangement can be beneficial for both me and [Company Name]. I'm keen to discuss potential strategies to make this transition smooth for our team.

Thank you for your time and understanding.

Warm regards,

How to Request a 4-Day Work Week?

Writing a well-crafted message is important for success when requesting a four-day workweek. Here's a simple guide to help you navigate the process:

Step 1: Choose the Right Moment

Picking the right timing is crucial for increasing the chances of a successful request. Avoid submitting the letter during busy times for your company. Instead, aim for a slower business period and a time when your boss is in a good mood.

Step 2: Create a Proposal

Moving on to the next step, it's essential to develop a well-written proposal that communicates how you will maintain or improve your productivity, ensuring that you can complete your weekly tasks before their due dates.

This is critical as it instills confidence in management that approving your request is also in their interest.

In this stage, consider researching successful cases of companies transitioning from a forty-hour work week to a shorter one (if applicable). This knowledge can further strengthen your proposal writing abilities and provide valuable insights.

Step 3: Address Your Supervisor

Be sure to address your manager directly instead of HR or the management team. Begin your letter positively and appreciative, such as "I hope this message finds you well" or "Thank you for reviewing my request.

Step 4: Explain the Reasons Why

Communicate to your boss why a four-day workweek is essential and how it can benefit you and the company.

Begin with a statement like "There are numerous benefits for employees and employers alike" before outlining the advantages. Presenting it as a win-win situation highlights the mutual benefits of the arrangement.

Use a factual approach, including relevant statistics, or keep the explanation concise. Consider providing a link to a reliable source that conveys the advantages of a four-day workweek for employers and employees.

Step 5: Be Specific About What's Staying the Same and What's Changing

It's also important to communicate your idea of a shortened workweek. Clearly explain what aspects will remain unchanged and what will change if your request is approved.

For employees seeking a personal four-day work week, this may be self-explanatory or require little explanation.

However, if you're requesting a four-day workweek for a team, provide detailed clarification. Explain how you expect the proposed changes to impact specific company metrics and expenses, offering tangible examples of the benefits they can bring.

Step 6: Test the Experiment

If management approves a four-day workweek trial, ensure all necessary plans are in place.

Here's what's needed to start an individual four-day workweek trial:

  • Set a start date determined by your boss in coordination with you and other members of management.
  • Implement measures to track the trial's progress objectively. Consider using a productivity time tracking app or another suitable tracker (in-house or through a third-party application) to monitor the success levels of the trial, such as the number of tasks completed each week.

Key Requirements to Run a Four-Day Workweek Trial

Here are just some of the key requirements to run a four day work week trial:

  • Communicate the changes that will occur during the trial to all relevant staff and specify the start date.
  • Conduct team meetings during the trial at the end of each week to gather employee feedback and evaluate objective metrics like company expenses. These meetings can provide insights into employee experiences and satisfaction.
  • Request employee feedback at the end of the trial, including questions about productivity, overall well-being, and burnout experiences.

The findings from the trial will serve as a compelling case to management for adopting a four-day workweek. If the administration rejects the proposal despite positive outcomes, consider revisiting the proposal at a later, more suitable time.

Wrapping Up

A thoughtfully written letter can catalyze a positive change that benefits both employees and employers alike.

By effectively highlighting the advantages of a shortened workweek, such as enhanced work-life balance, improved productivity, and reduced stress, employees can present a compelling case to management.

We wish you success in your current job. However, if your request is unsuccessful and you choose to explore new opportunities, remember that our website offers a wide range of four-day week and part time job available worldwide