Piloting the 4-Day Work Week

Prioritizing Mental Health at Chromatic

In May 2021, Chromatic launched what we called the Summer Friday Experiment. That summer, we all enjoyed half-days on Friday freeing up space in our weeks to prioritize downtime.

This week we marked World Mental Health Awareness Day and we’re proud to say that our half-day Summer Friday experiment shifted to perpetual summer Fridays. This summer, we took it a step further and shifted to a full day– a true 4-day work week– and we’ll continue to honor our team’s well-being as long as possible.

We still consider this an experiment knowing the risks not just financially but that it may actually introduce some stress as well. We recently surveyed the team about it and the responses have been overwhelmingly positive.

  • 92% of the team feels engaged (33%) or very engaged (59%) at work
  • 100% of the team felt the 4-day week had a positive (25%) or very positive (75%) impact on their well-being

While only 17% of the team admitted to taking Fridays completely off, it seems many of us use Fridays as a balm for a hectic week, stepping away when life calls us to and using some quiet Friday time to catch up.

Even if I do work some on Fridays, being able to step away a bit early during the week when my brain is mush or I'm pissed and just make-up some hours Friday has been a huge blessing.

At first, I had a hard time getting everything I needed done in the time frame, but after discussing…, it is helpful for me to finish stuff up on Friday as needed.

Each Monday I fell like I'm starting something new, and not coming back to something I was doing previously (it's hard to describe). Somehow I fell like I have more energy and that I do more in 4 days than I would do in 5.

This is a game changer, the amount of the impact this gets on my overall mental and physical well-being is not measurable. It’s like a mini holiday. The memes you see on the internet about Monday are not true for Chromatic, since I actually love to come and work.

Some of us do feel the pressure of a condensed week. 83% of the team felt they have been able to get most or all the work they need to get done.

Do you feel that you have been able to get all the work you need to done in 4 days?: I originally answered “Mostly” because lower-priority items definitely get pushed off more than before. However, upon re-reading the question and noticing the “need” qualifier, I switched my answer to “Definitely” because I am definitely getting done what I need to get done.

There is a greater incentive to make meaningful use of my time throughout the week because I have only four days to get things done. Likewise, knowing a 3-day weekend is coming up makes me feel even more motivated to give work my full attention throughout the week.

We’ve also seen this be a key differentiator for recruiting as well. We’re continuing to pilot our 4-day week along with companies across the globe.