The Four-Day Workweek

Joann Lee Wagner used to feel pretty guilty for taking breaks—until her organization decided to experiment with a new way of working: the four-day workweek. In the process, Joann had to do more than change her calendar. She had to rethink how she thought about work itself.

Today we share the story of one person’s, and one organization's, experience trying out a four-day week: Joann Lee Wagner, the VP of people operations at Common Future. They tested a four-day week in 2020, and have since made it permanent. Listen in as Joann walks through how their experiment came together, what they learned in the process, and how it changed Joann forever. 

I think of my grandmother who was an entrepreneur in San Francisco in Fisherman's Wharf, selling her candles and working so hard to make a living for her family and the health challenges that came after that. I think about how she wouldn't want me to be in a place of such constant stress and hardship, where I'm working myself to the bone just to live now. I think that she would really have wanted something else for me. And so it took a moment of reflection to really think about, "Where is that coming from?" in order to be able to even come into work in a four-day workweek context. Because at the end of the day, we are really challenging the assumptions around work that we as organizations carry, but also we as individuals.

—Joann Lee Wagner, VP of people operations at Common Future