Business & Economics Books:

The 4 Day Week

How the Flexible Work Revolution Can Increase Productivity, Profitability and Well-being, and Create a Sustainable Future
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Paperback / softback
The 4 Day Week by Andrew Barnes
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"A Global Game Changer"
5 stars"

I read this book on the flight to the UK for the festive break. The book clearly highlights the process which Andrew and his wider team adopted in order to implement the 4day week concept. What I liked is that the leadership didn’t just decide they were going to do this, instead they gave ownership of the solution to the employees which I thought was a great idea. Having been in Financial Services for nearly 20 years I was always confused that longer hours equaled promotion, large banks in general are very profitable my question is how profitable could we be if we focused on output ie productivity. The book identifies this as the main driver for a successful outcome which clearly shows that a 40hr 5 day working week is what society deemed as necessary to be successful, the book dispels that myth and the research shows that agreeing the right level of KPIs, understanding your role and responsibilities allows you to work less and not lose any productivity. With new technology, automated processes, the adoption of AI and machine learning allows us to remove parts of some roles that are tedious and time consuming, we do need to be mindful that not everyone likes change and what to do with that time, so it was great to see that in the book this is addressed with the concept of lifelong learning could help the employee learn a new skill, they could spend more time with family or they could do something for the community so it’s a win win situation. Anyone that says “this wouldn’t work in my industry” clearly doesn’t want to find possible solutions to increasing productivity which I find strange, who wouldnt want to be more efficient for the benefit of having more free time. The world of working is changing rapidly and Andrew and his team at PG is ahead of the curve not only is this great for employee engagement, customer service it also has other benefits Health and Wellbeing, a positive benefit around climate impact by reducing travel time and our carbon footprint because we don’t commute to work as often. In conclusion the 4 day week is great for everyone on the planet and the planet itself so lets get talking and work on getting every business started on the journey to accreditation.


In The 4 Day Week, entrepreneur and business innovator Andrew Barnes makes the case for the four-day week as the answer to many of the ills of the 21st-century global economy. Barnes 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 world of work has seen a dramatic shift in recent times: the former security and benefits associated with permanent employment are being displaced by the less stable gig economy. Barnes explains the dangers of a focus on flexibility at the expense of hard-won worker protections, and argues that with the four-day week, we can have the best of all worlds: optimal productivity, work-life balance, worker benefits and, at long last, a solution to pervasive economic inequities such as the gender pay gap and lack of diversity in business and governance. THE 4 DAY WEEK is a practical, how-to guide for business leaders and employees alike that is applicable to nearly every industry. Using qualitative and quantitative data from research gathered through the Perpetual Guardian trial and other sources by the University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology, the book presents a step-by-step approach to preparing businesses for productivity-focused flexibility, from the necessary cultural conditions to the often complex legislative considerations. The story of Perpetual Guardian's unprecedented work experiment has made headlines around the world and stormed social media, reaching a global audience over 4.5 billion. A mix of trenchant analysis, personal observation and actionable advice, THE 4 DAY WEEK is an essential guide for leaders and workers seeking to make a change for the better in their work world.

Author Biography

Andrew Barnes has made a career of market-changing growth and innovation. He was chairman of at the time of its IPO on the ASX, led the sale of Bestinvest, a $5.7 billion UK wealth management business, to private capital and as managing director was instrumental in the creation and listing of Australian Wealth Management Limited on the ASX. Most recently Andrew triggered a revolution of the entire fiduciary and legal services industries in New Zealand, and his conception of the four-day week - the flexible work revolution - has made him a globally sought-after leader. He speaks to international audiences on the future of work and subjects such as governance, philanthropy, business leadership, entrepreneurship, company culture and change management. Andrew lives in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. He holds a Master of Arts in Law and Archaeology from Selwyn College at the University of Cambridge.
Release date NZ
January 14th, 2020
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Piatkus Books
Product ID

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