Why we moved to a 4-day week

How and why our remote UX design agency moved to a 4-day workweek without a reduction in pay or benefits and without increasing rates.

Scott Perket

CEO - Founder

How and why our remote UX design agency moved to a 4-day workweek without a reduction in pay or benefits and without increasing rates.

So what would you do with an extra day? Epic 3-day weekend adventure trips? Run errands? Finally get around to cleaning the house? Exercise? Garden? Catch up on reading or binge the latest season of your favorite show? Volunteer? Rest?

Listen, we’ve all been juggling a lot over the past few years between the pandemic, climate change, inflation, social injustice, politics, war, banks collapsing, the endless vortex of doom that is the 24/7 new cycle, and oh yeah, our careers and trying to have a life. Many of us are stretched to our limits and something needs to give.

Many of the ways things were “before” haven’t been working for us for a while. Simply put, there just isn’t enough time. The 40-hour week and commuting into an office to shuffle from one meeting room to the next to join Zoom calls you could have joined from home just doesn’t seem necessary or worth it.

Enter the 4-day workweek.

In a recent Twitter thread, I announced that our remote UX design agency, Forge Studio, would be moving to a 4-day workweek at the start of Q2, 2023 without a reduction of benefits, and without raising rates.

This decision was based on a number of factors, including increased productivity, improved work-life balance for employees, and a desire to stay competitive in a rapidly changing industry. In this post, we will explore these factors in more detail and explain why we believe a 4-day workweek is the best option for our design agency.

1. Increased Productivity

One of the main reasons we are moving to a 4-day workweek is because we believe it will lead to increased productivity. Numerous studies have shown that working fewer hours can actually lead to better performance and greater efficiency. For example, a study by the University of Auckland found that workers who reduced their hours from 40 to 32 hours per week were able to maintain the same level of productivity while enjoying better work-life balance.

Quantitatively, after looking at team performance data over a period of six months, we noticed that Fridays were the least productive and communicative day of the week. Less work was happening inside tools like Figma, Slack, Notion, and Loom. There were fewer client meetings, and therefore fewer decisions and approvals.

Qualitatively, our employees shared that they were often mentally exhausted by Fridays and struggled to focus and execute tasks. This would carry into the weekend—impeding their ability to disconnect from work to rest and recharge.

By reducing the number of days our employees work, we believe we can help them focus their energy and be more productive during the time they are in the office. Additionally, with an extra day off each week, employees will have more time to rest and recharge, which will ultimately lead to better performance when they are back on the job.

2. Improved Work-Life Balance

Another key factor in our decision to move to a 4-day workweek is the importance of work-life balance. We believe that happy and healthy employees are more likely to be productive and satisfied with their jobs. By giving our employees an extra day off each week, we hope to encourage them to spend more time with their families, pursue their hobbies, and generally enjoy their lives outside of work.

In a world where the lines between work and personal life are becoming increasingly blurred, we believe it is important to take steps to ensure that our employees have the time and space they need to recharge and find balance in their lives. By offering a 4-day workweek, we hope to create a more sustainable and fulfilling work environment for everyone at our agency.

3. Staying Competitive with Talent

We believe that offering a 4-day workweek will help us stay competitive with talent in a highly competitive and rapidly changing industry. With more and more companies offering flexible work arrangements and other perks to attract top talent, we believe that we need to stay ahead of the curve in order to attract and retain the best employees.

With benefits like being fully remote, offering unlimited PTO, mandatory summer and winter breaks where we close for the weeks of July 4th and December 23–January 2 every year, and our strong enforcement of keeping daily hours at or under 8 hours, by offering a 4-day workweek, we believe we can differentiate ourselves from other agencies and tech companies to attract employees who are looking for a more flexible and balanced work environment. Additionally, this creates a more positive and supportive workplace culture, we hope to inspire our employees to do their best work and help our agency thrive in an ever-evolving industry.

This all sounds great! But how is this actually going to work?

Are employees going to work longer hours during their four days? Do they get fewer PTO and sick days? How does this affect your client projects and rates? All great questions.

In order to adopt a 4-day workweek policy, I feel it is absolutely critical to avoid potential negative outcomes for our employees and our clients.

A few examples include:

  • Working longer days
    Many companies that have 4-day workweek policies require employees to disperse the 8 hours saved into the four days in the workweek, resulting in 10-hour days all four days.
  • No faux 4-day weeks
    Some companies claim to have 4-day workweeks but instead of giving employees the fifth day off, they require employees to work a full eight hours on the fifth day on “20%” or internal projects.
  • Reduced wages or benefits
    Some companies will force a reduction in base compensation and/or reduction or denial of eligibility for additional compensation like equity or cash bonuses.Increased rates to offset costsAnother common tactic is for companies to increase their client billable rates to offset losses from the drastic decrease in billable time.

Forge moved to a 4-day week with the following policies:
  1. Without a reduction in compensation or benefits for our employees
  2. With everyone continuing to have unlimited PTO — which we encourage everyone to take regularly—including a mandatory week-long summer break and a two-week end-of-year break.
  3. Normal, 8-hour days.
  4. No one will be required to work on 20% or internal projects on the 5th day.
  5. Our client rates will not change.

It’s simple — Fridays off.
3-day weekends all the time.

How? By ruthlessly protecting our time.
  • Company-wide no-meeting days on Mondays and Wednesdays.
  • No meetings/heads down time 2:00–5:00 PM local time on Tuesdays and Thursdays for individual contributors.
  • Heavy reliance on asynchronous collaboration tools like Figma, Loom, Slack, Notion, and Asana with regular, organized updates and requests.
  • 8-hour days. Strong enforcement to log off and disconnect starting sometime between 5:00–6:00 PM local time.


I received an overwhelming response, including numerous comments, replies, and direct messages, from individuals seeking more information about research studies, case studies, and notable figures associated with the 4-day workweek movement.

One such reply was Juliet Schor, a prominent figure in the 4-day workweek movement and a respected professor of Sociology at Boston College Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences. She literally gave the TED Talk on the 4-day workweek.

She asked if Forge Studio and our employees would participate in their research study — which we immediately signed up for, of course.

Conclusion and What’s Next

In conclusion, we are excited to have moved to a 4-day workweek at our agency. We believe that this decision will lead to increased productivity and improved work-life balance while helping us better compete for talent.

While there may be some challenges and adjustments as we make this transition, we are confident that this is the right move for our agency and our employees. We look forward to seeing the positive impact that a 4-day workweek will have on our team and our work in the months and years to come.

Follow along

Follow our journey as our agency navigates transitioning to a 4-day workweek.

We’ll share periodic updates here on Medium and across our social profiles with quantitative and qualitative and key insights and lessons learned along the way.

Scott Perket
LinkedIn, Dribbble, Twitter, Read.cv (“scottperket” on other platforms)

Forge Studio
Forge.is, LinkedIn, Dribbble, Twitter (“X”), Read.cv



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Photo credit: Unsplash by Michael Henry

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