FlexForwardBrighton: 4 Day Week Best Practice Insights

The 4-day week has been getting a lot of press – and for good reason.  Studies are showing considerable benefits for both employers and their employees. 

When Flexibility Matters hosted FlexForwardBrighton in June, we were lucky enough to be joined by Dr Charlotte Rae as a speaker and peer mentor.  A psychology lecturer from the University of Sussex, Charlotte has been spearheading research into the impact and benefits of flexible working for businesses and their teams, in particular how the 4-day week affects productivity and wellbeing. Below we will summarise some of the key points from her session. 

The Benefits of a 4-Day Week

With employees seeking a work-life balance and businesses needing consistent productivity, does a shorter work-week add up and how do you find the happy medium?

Dr Charlotte Rae, Psychology Lecturer at Sussex University has been leading the research into flexible working.  A specialist in the 4-day week, her research so far has highlighted themes of  inclusivity, trust and keeping an evolving dialogue between employers and employees. 

What is a 4-Day Week? 

A 4-day week can take different forms depending on the business. Full-time employees can reduce their time at work to four days (with no loss of pay) or, this could be modelled differently, such as a nine-day fortnight or five shorter days.  This does not exclude part-time staff who can benefit from a proportionate reduction in working time.  However the time is structured, productivity is maintained. 

Use the 100-80-100 Principle:

The 100-80-100 Principle has become the international standard to help businesses formulate a fair and flexible pathway to reducing work time for their people, whether they are part- or full-time.  Under this model, employees receive 100% pay for 80% time worked with 100% productivity targets achieved. 4dayweek.com


What are the benefits of a 4-Day Week?

The 4-day work can be used as a strategy to attract and retain talent in a tight labour market but at the same time it needs to be more than a promotional slogan, it needs to be an integral pillar of business culture.


The Trends shown by Research: Benefits of a 4-Day Week


  • Enhanced productivity & workplace performance
  • Fewer sick days
  • Improved retention & recruitment
  • Differentiation – more attractive as an employer

  • Better work-life balance
  • Lower stress & higher wellbeing
  • Higher job motivation & job satisfaction.

The 4-Day Week: The Business Experience

There are some key learnings that have come from the flexible working trials. In short, it has to work for everyone, here are some common observations:

  • Transparency & co-creation of the 4-day week between the MD and staff, everyone is a team and it needs to work for everyone. The company, its directors and staff need to agree to a definition of a 4-day week in their business.
  • Micro businesses and SMEs: in businesses with less cover and fewer resources, there needs to be trust and excellent communication to be able to implement the 4-day week effectively. 
  • Trust is key: flexible working works best when directors and managers know and understand their teams. 
  • Employment of alternative working styles: focussed working sessions are one tactic where an individual doesn’t answer the phone or look at emails but focuses on a specific piece of work that needs full attention with no distractions. 

Charlotte’s trials continue, incorporating brain scanning of participants going through the trials! We await the results with interest.

If you’d like to find out more about getting the right people to support your flexible culture, or implementing a 4-day week, contact emma@flexmatters.co.uk or call 07810 541599.

Read more from FlexForwardBrighton and Flexible Working Best Practice 2019 – 2023.


FlexForwardBrighton was sponsored by Creative Pod and Bakers Garden Buildings and we were delighted to work with Platinum Media Group – Media Sponsor and Gatwick Diamond Business – Networking Partner.


Responsive site designed and developed by

Click to go Madison Web Solutions' website