Is the usual five-day workweek and two-day weekend working for people? Not if you look at the current rates of unhappiness and burnout in the workforce. 

Saturday is often catch-up day, doing all the chores you didn’t have time for during the workweek. On Sunday, you might get a little rest, but then you start thinking about the week ahead, maybe even experiencing the “Sunday scaries” that can include anxiety and dread, which can affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep. This, in turn, leads to a not great start to the week…

So, as a small business owner, you may be asking yourself, is there a better way?

4-day workweek 

One alternative that some companies are exploring is a 4-day workweek. In “Workers report a 4-day workweek improves health, finances and relationships: It ‘simply makes you happy,’” CNBC highlighted the results of a six-month trial in the UK, which included nearly 3,000 workers at 61 companies and found that the benefits of a four-day workweek go beyond reduced burnout. Employers and workers reported improved productivity, morale, team culture, as well as benefits for health, finances, and relationships. In fact, “92% of companies say they’re continuing with the four-day week permanently.”

I’ll admit that I have not been successful in keeping to a four-day workweek in my own business because client needs tend to bleed over into Friday, which is the day I keep saying I don’t work. 

Alternatively, I may use that day when I don’t have client calls to do planning and writing because I am able to drop into deep focus and flow. 

While that may be a good use of my time, I am not getting the rest and recharging time I was hoping for from a four-day workweek.  

6-week cycles with two weeks off 

I was shocked when my colleague, Joe Martin, the founder of Martin Creative and UpLevel Tourism, told me that for the past three years he has been having his teams work for six weeks and then take two weeks off. I wondered how that was even possible, given how demanding clients can be of an agency.  

In a recent article on LinkedIn, Martin writes: 

6-Week Cycles set a precedent with both our clients as well as employees, that we value our staff as much as our customers and believe our responsibility is to care for both.

And speaking of customers – you might be thinking, “don’t they lose in all of this?” The answer is no.

6/2 gives our staff the chance to rest and recharge, so they return to our projects with new ideas, more creativity, and a renewed energy and passion for our clients, their goals, and their outcomes.

Using 6-Week Cycles as 6/2 is the most beneficial thing we’ve ever done for our company, our staff, AND our clients.

Martin pushes back on the four-day workweek concept for the reasons I list above. Managers, coworkers, or clients will inevitably reach out saying, “I know it’s your day off, but…” 

With clear communication about expectations with employees and clients, Martin asserts it is possible and profitable to stay on this 6/2 cadence. Martin writes, 

In the years that I’ve been living in 6-Week Cycles, no cycle has ever begun without deep anticipation and excitement, and no cycle has ended without a strong feeling of accomplishment. Even when a cycle contained hardship, the sense of achievement, the looking back at what we’d done, and the joy that comes from the knowing 2 weeks of recharge await…is still indescribably wonderful.

Beside the obvious benefit of coming back to your work refreshed and recharged, my biggest takeaway is the power of spending time drafting detailed plans that enable you to execute more efficiently, boosting productivity and creating superior work. That is something all of us should strive for. 

You can learn more about Joe Martin’s 6-Week Cycles at

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash