To: People who hire freelancers
Freelancers want a 4 day week!
The 4 day week is a reduction in the work week from a standard 40 hours to 32 hours for the same pay and benefits. This reduction has been proven to work for employees and for employers in nearly every industry, and a four day week for us would benefit every type of worker in our workplace. We want to join the Four Day Week Global Foundations’s 2022 pilot, where our workplace could try a four day week for a few months and see if it works for us. Are you with us?
Why do we need a 4 day week?
Life—and work—is out of balance. COVID-19 has made it clear we must find a better balance between work and life, with global burnout, social unrest, and a changing climate. We can’t fight today’s battles if we’re always exhausted with no time to recuperate, be with our loved ones, or live paycheck-to-paycheck.
A hundred years ago, we began the shift from working six day weeks to five. We’re long overdue for an update. 85% of U.S. adults already approve of moving to a 4 day week. To make it happen, we have to move together and push for a future where we have the time to take care of ourselves, our families, and our communities. For freelancers and those in the gig economy, that means ensuring we either do two things:
(1) In our contracts, stipulate we are offline on one day of the week without lowering our pay or expectations for the job; or
(2) If we work hourly or daily, ensure our rate goes up in order to cover the additional day or hours we'd work on the day we now have off from work.
Why is this important?
Thousands of companies are currently piloting a reduced-hour work week—or have permanently adopted it—benefiting auto workers and waiters to engineers and lawyers. Employers report increased productivity, stronger talent attraction and retention, and sometimes even lower overhead. A shorter work week also gives employees time to develop new skills they can apply at work.
A reduced-hour work week means more family time and improved mental and physical health. An extra day for "life" means we’re more likely to rest, exercise, schedule doctor's visits, enjoy the outdoors, start a family, play with our kids, and care for our elders—without sacrificing our pay or our careers. Leaders who move their workplace to a shorter work week see these effects in real-time: employees are more engaged, take less sick days, and experience less burnout.
A society with less time “on the clock” means more time in our communities. Studies show people with 4 day weeks often spend their time volunteering with their faith-based organizations, chipping in at food banks, helping their neighbors, buying from small businesses, and engaging in local issues. Reduced-hour workplaces are also better gender balanced. Caretakers, especially working mothers, benefit from a reduced-hour schedule, and women with 4 day weeks find their workplace to be more flexible and equitable.
Shortening the work week can also reduce commutes and shrink our global carbon footprint. Americans produce 10% less carbon emissions from electricity and drive 17% fewer miles on the average weekend day than the average weekday; introducing a third weekend day would reduce carbon emissions in the U.S. by 45 million metric tons–more than the total emissions of Oregon and Vermont combined.