Could a 4 day work week change your family’s life?


This post has been written in collaboration with GoToMeeting Australia

Starting a family is a costly decision. Having a baby costs time, money and sometimes careers. Babies add a new dimension to the whole work life balance equation. One of the biggest considerations when deciding to start a family is whether you can afford to raise a child, and if you can afford to, whether one or both parents need to go back to work to make ends meet.

Before we had kids, Jacob and I both worked full time. After we had Esther, Jacob returned to work full time and I went back to work part-time/casually when she was 4.5 months old. Depending on the amount of work Dad and I took on or won, depended on how many days I worked. I found 1-2 days of work the best balance for my week.

When we had Magdalene, I went back to work when she was 6 months old. I was only back at work for a couple of months before I found out I was pregnant again with Phoebe. Life took a detour and I stopped work because of many reasons which you can read about here.

Now that Phoebe is 7 months old, I have decided to be a stay at home mum, but as a result of consistently writing this blog and networking I have been able to gain freelance writing work which (Praise God) fits in around looking after my girls.

Jacob has remained working full time but there are times where I have wondered if we’d all benefit from him working 4 days a week. Especially while our girls are little.

The reason I have wondered this is because after he has finished work at his physical employment, there is always yard work and cleaning to be done at home and sometimes our Saturdays are consumed with household chores, ferrying kids to swimming lessons and mowing the front and back lawns.

I’ve always wondered how much freer our weekends would be if Jacob worked 4 days because that extra day off would mean the house stuff could be done and we could have more family time together on the weekend.

I know of friends who have worked a 4 day week and it’s worked well for their family.

The only setbacks to Jacob working 4 days is his pay would be reduced which wouldn’t help our already tight budget, and his position is a full time one so he would have to change jobs which he wouldn’t be keen on because he enjoys his job.

I’m not the only one that has thought about the benefits and drawbacks of a four day working week. GoToMeeting Australia have put together this excellent infographic which highlights the pros and cons to building a case for this concept.

4-Day Work Week1
I found the infographic fascinating. Especially the real life examples of where the 4 day work week was a success. It was also interesting to read about the countries where it didn’t work.

I think a 4 day week would make life easier but I wonder at what cost? Would work days have to be longer to get more work completed and can people afford to live with less pay if they choose not to work for 5 days?

Most people enjoy a long weekend and the subsequent shorter work week that follows. I enjoy that extra time with Jacob and I know my girls do too.

It’s ironic that John Maynard Keynes predicted people would be working 15 hours a week by 2030 because of technology. But I think expectations and deadlines have been raised because of the way technology allows us to get more done quickly which means we fill more work into our days.

What do you think about a 4 day work week? Could a 4 day work week change your family’s life?

This post has been written in accordance with my disclosure policy.

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