5 steps to a four day week this September

BE YELLOW cofounder Hayley Knight urges fellow SME owners to take the leap and drop the fifth work day to unleash multiple benefits for both employers and employees.

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As businesses begin to explore flexible working options, 4 day work weeks present various benefits to both employees and employers. Many businesses who have implemented a four day working week have reported increased productivity and efficiency, enhanced employee morale and higher job satisfaction, and even cost and environmental compensations. 

At BE YELLOW, as an organisation who has successfully implemented a 4 day work week, we wanted to provide what we feel are 5 helpful steps on how organisations can introduce and maintain a successful 4 week work policy. 

Step 1: organisation aims

As an organisation, it’s important to identify why you want to offer a 4 day work week, and what your aims and expected outcomes are. Understanding these objectives will make the initiative more effective long term, and is less likely to break down or be abandoned. What are your expectations from employees? At BE YELLOW we offer it as a free-day for professional and personal development. Would you expect an element of productivity, or would they be totally free to do as they please?

Step 2: employee needs

What do your employees actually want from a 4 day work week? Conduct an internal survey, and ask your employees what 4 day work weeks look like to them and which day they would prefer (remember, not everyone needs the same day off), and address any questions or concerns. For some employees, they may want to take off an entire day, whilst others may want to spread it across the week so they can leave work earlier, and others may have ideas that you may not have considered . Be as flexible as possible with this flexible working strategy. 

Step 3. open communication

Once you have decided the above, it will be just as important to openly and accurately communicate both organisational and employee requirements. Detail what is possible, and where compromises need to be made. Once this is agreed, you’ll need to effectively communicate to clients and suppliers, explaining the reasoning for this new way of working, promoting its benefits, and where required addressing any concerns.

Step 4: define clear boundaries

It is important that both organisation and employee understand the parameters of the policy, and what is acceptable. Inconsistency is a major barrier in making 4 day work weeks a success, and this is due to unclear boundaries and expectations implemented from the beginning. Setting strong boundaries will help successfully manage the extra organisation requirement, the time management of working days (including reduction of meetings and calls), and maximise employee welfare.

Step 5: monitoring and reviewing

It’s important to remember that it may take a while to streamline this policy. Both the organisation and employee should feedback regularly on their experience. You may need to develop additional systems and processes, which could seem labour-intensive at the start. But by sticking to your aims and refining the process, both the employees and the business will benefit from long term gains.


Embracing a 4-day work week can be a transformative step for businesses seeking to focus on employee well-being, improve productivity, and adapt to changing workplace dynamics. By involving employees in the process, offering flexibility, optimising time management, reducing unnecessary meetings, and emphasising work-life balance, businesses can effectively implement this alternative work arrangement and unlock its numerous benefits. As organisations continue to evolve to meet the needs of the modern workforce, the 4-day work week represents a progressive and innovative approach to creating a happier and more engaged workforce.

Hayley Knight - co-founder of BE YELLOW

Hayley Knight is the co-founder of PR and marketing agency BE YELLOW, and former Deputy Head of PR at Pride in London. Her accolades include Elle UK's 23 under 30 female entrepreneurs and Amor magazine 30 under 30, as well as being listed as number 6 in TechRound’s top 100 PR agencies. Knight is also a TEDx speaker and has been featured in various publications including Metro, The Guardian, The Times, Stylist, The Telegraph and Wired.

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