3 reasons why the 4-day workweek can supercharge the side hustle world

The four-day workweek could not only change the way we work but also have positive implications for everyone with a side hustle in the UK.

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The last two years have been a rollercoaster for everyone. Despite all the grief and economic fallout, the pandemic managed to bring in some much-needed changes. The period was characterised by wider adoption of technology, the introduction of the hybrid model of work and, for many, a new side hustle.

These were amongst the biggest changes we have seen so far. However, there is one that has the potential to completely turn upside down the way we work. Even more so, it can also supercharge the gig economy, which is estimated to contribute around £72 billion to the UK economy, according to Henley Business School.


4-day work week is the new buzz   

Spending less time at work while earning the same amount sounds like a dream, right? Well, this is now about to become the reality for some in the UK. And I’m not referring to the condensed work week, where you do 35-40 hours over four days. It is actually working less time for the same rewards.

The idea behind the four-day workweek is to achieve the same results in fewer hours, so employees can spend more time away from the workplace, following their interests and having a better work-life balance.  

Around 30 companies have already signed up for the trial. Starting in June, they will implement a four-day workweek while keeping the salaries of their employees intact. The experiment is being run by leading academic institutions in the UK and US and a think tank, with the 4 Day Week Global campaign providing oversight. 

Have similar trials been conducted elsewhere?

The short answer is yes. And the trials were actually deemed successful. 

Between 2015 and 2019, Iceland held the largest trial of the concept. The experiment was labelled an ‘overwhelming success’. And productivity either improved or remained unchanged for the majority of participants.

In 2019, Microsoft also implemented a four-day workweek for its employees in Japan. It resulted in a 40% increase in sales per employee in comparison to the previous year. 

Other countries that have confirmed taking part in a trial similar to the UK’s are Ireland, the US, Spain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. 


3 reasons why side hustlers should be excited 

A four-day workweek will free up additional time for employees. Here are three reasons why this is great news for side hustlers. 

1. Having more free time to develop a side hustle

One of the main reasons for implementing the four-day workweek is that people will have a better work-life balance. Having more free time could allow people to test the water with a new business venture or a side gig that they have always dreamed of.

The timing couldn’t be better as the pandemic has resulted in a boom in the gig economy. In 2021 alone, more than two thirds (77%) of 18-24-year-olds took on a side hustle, whilst a quarter (25%) of all UK adults are believed to have at least one. 

2. Having a better quality of life 

The pandemic has surely streamlined the adoption of the hybrid model of work, but it has also made people less active. Employees who work extended hours are at higher risk of burnout and taking more sick days. And this is in no way practical for both businesses and workers, especially if you have ambitions to start a job on the side.

So, having that extra day to relieve stress and relax could really help entrepreneurs to chase their dreams at no cost to their wellbeing. 

3. Greater transparency between businesses and side hustlers 

A common sentiment amongst side hustlers is to keep their 9-5 bosses happy. And let’s be frank, we all know someone who has lied to their employer in order to start a project on the side. This is usually out of fear that knowledge of their side hustle could jeopardize their main source of income.

But if the concept of the shorter week becomes the norm, there’s the potential to change that perception. It could empower workers to become upfront about their endeavours without the fear of negative consequences. This alone could be enough of an incentive to get more people into the gig economy. 

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

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