Andrew Barnes, The 4 Day Week – InnovaBuzz 294

Andrew Barnes

Andrew Barnes, The 4 Day Week

In this episode, I’m really excited to have as my guest, Andrew Barnes, Architect of the 4 Day Week and author of the book with the same name. 

Andrew conducted an experiment in his own business, the New Zealand trust company Perpetual Guardian, and asked his staff to design a four-day week that would permit them to meet their existing productivity requirements on the same salary but with a 20% cut in work hours. The outcomes of this trial, which no business leader had previously attempted on these terms, were stunning. People were happier and healthier, more engaged in their personal lives, and more focused and productive in the office. The story of Perpetual Guardian’s unprecedented work experiment has made headlines around the world and many companies all around the world are adopting variations of this idea.

In our discussion, Andrew and I talked about:

  • The increased productivity that they found from their 4-day week experiment;
  • The relevance of the 4-day week idea to a post COVID world;
  • Other benefits to society of the 4-day work week.

Cathryn Lloyd  in episode 259  introduced us to Andrew.

Listen to the podcast to learn more.

Listen to the Podcast

The 4 Day Week is more than just the work-life balance. More than the productivity, it is also for the profitability of your business. @AndrewHBarnes on #InnovaBuzz Podcast Click To Tweet

Show Notes from this episode with Andrew Barnes, Architect of The 4 Day Week

  • You only have to find 45 minutes of more productive time in each of the 4 days to make up for the lost day.
  • The 4 Day Week also gives your staff a chance to be the best they could be outside of the office. They are able to deal better with interruptions or those things that disrupt them from working.
  • If you believe that your staff is productive from the very first minute to the very last minute of the working day, you are kidding yourself.
  • One of the purposes of the 4 Day Week is to also identify what employees shouldn’t do and how much of the day is spent being unproductive.
  • The 4 Day Week is all about time savings.
  • Structure your team in terms of who’s going to take a certain day off.
  • The 4 Day Week is all about output but it has to be a voluntary opt-in process.
  • The 4 Day Week improves customer service and creates better team resilience. It improves engagement, enrichment, empowerment, enthusiasm, and loyalty in organisations.
  • Research shows that organisations who have started to implement the 4 Day Week have increased their engagement, enrichment, empowerment, enthusiasm, and loyalty by 40%,
  • People found that they are able to do their work better working for 4 days rather than 5. They realised they could eliminate the busy work and wasted time and were also able to come up with little hacks that can help them be more productive.
  • The 11:22 minutes rule states that the minute someone is disturbed every 11 minutes, it takes that person 22 minutes to get back to productivity.
  • Approach your staff in a way that highlights the time savings rather than the cost savings. Ask them what they will do differently if they can work with reduced hours in a week. If you approach them with cost savings, they will think it will cost a job loss.
  • Let your staff know the benefit of the time off. Explain to them that it’s not about job loss rather getting them to have better productivity by working together.
  • The 4 Day Week as an opportunity for us to change how we work.
  • With the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a great time for us to re-educate our workforce. This is the best opportunity for us to rethink how we work and to hang on to some of its benefits.
  • In an environment where we need the economy to recover, a 4 Day Week is a tool that can assist with that. Flexible working would put trillions of dollars on to the global economy.
  • The 4 Day Week is more than just the work-life balance. More than the productivity, it is also for the profitability of your business. It’s relatively simple to implement but the results are extraordinary in terms of what it will do.
  • The 4 Day Week is not rocket science. It’s finding a way to do it in a way where everybody feels comfortable and you can be good at it. It’s a challenge, but you can do it in a structured and low-risk way. It’s genuinely quite simple to do.
  • Don’t overthink! It is when you overthink that you make things complicated.
  • There is only one YOU. There are millions of people who just want a decent wage and be able to live a good life. They don’t want to be you. They just want to have the balance.
  • The 100-80-100 rule – 100% pay, 80% time, provided that you get the same 100% productivity.
  • The 4 Day Week is about getting the balance back. You get to be more creative. You have more time to think and make better decisions as a business leader.
  • You could be the world’s greatest strategist but if your team doesn’t understand the goal, you will fail.
  • The 4 Day Week is a key strategy for businesses to improve their productivity, and ultimately to improve the lives of their employees.
Don't overthink! It is when you overthink, that you make things complicated. @AndrewHBarnes on #InnovaBuzz Podcast Click To Tweet

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are Andrew’s answers to the questions of our Innovation round. Listen to the conversation to get the full scoop.

  1. #1 thing to be more innovative – Have time to think. Time enables you to think strategically.
  2. Best thing for new ideas – The 4 Day Week. It’s a structure that enables people to innovate.
  3. Favourite tool for innovation – My little black book.
  4. Keep project / client on track – Regular communication. Provide the key points so that you can have very short and sharp discussions to make a decision and move forward.
  5. Differentiate – Take a risk. If you do nothing, you will have a 100% chance of failure. If you do something, you might have a 50% chance of failure. Doing something and making a decision, lowers the risk profile, and gives you a better chance of success than doing nothing.

To Be a Leader

Be bold. Take some time to think. Being innovative and entrepreneurial is not as hard as you think it is. It’s just making that first step, so take the leap!

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Andrew through their website.

Suggested Guest

Andrew suggested I interview Ryan Pandya of Perfect Day. So Ryan, keep an eye on your inbox for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz podcast, courtesy of Andrew Barnes.



Cool things about Andrew

  • He’s the director of Coulthard Barnes, and chair of both the Regional Facilities Auckland board and New Zealand payroll provider, PaySauce.
  • He saved the historic classic racing yacht Ariki from near-ruin by purchasing her and undertaking an extensive restoration project.
  • He holds a Masters Degree in Law and Archaeology from the University of Cambridge.
Be bold. Take some time to think. Being innovative and entrepreneurial is not as hard as you think it is. It's just making that first step, so take the leap! @AndrewHBarnes on #InnovaBuzz Podcast Click To Tweet

Listen to the Podcast

Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is The World's Best Human-Centred Podcasting Coach and the only Podcast Innovator with the signature bright yellow headphones, who masterfully crafts human connection for high-impact achievers in a vibrant community. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Flywheel Nation Community as well as on Innovabiz' InstagramTwitter, Facebook pages and his personal Photography website.  

Leave a Comment