LEP Digital Director Laura Prael in a bright purple blazer image

February 12, 2021 | Written by Laura Prael and published by Smart Company

I recently listed two job advertisements on SEEK for roles within my growing digital agency — namely, a digital marketing manager and digital marketing and social media assistant.

They both looked like any other job post for an agency role, listing desired skills, prerequisites and rah-rah about the company culture and perks.

But there was one key difference. They were both advertised as four-day-a-week roles, Monday through to Thursday.

Remuneration was competitive, and this wasn’t a full-time role dressed in sheep’s clothing (an ‘I’ll pay you for four days but you’ll actually work five’ situation).

Between the two roles, I interviewed nine people. When it came to question time, each person asked me why the roles were only four days a week. Was it because there wasn’t enough work to support the fifth day? Would the role grow to full-time?

Before COVID-19, the appetite for working four days a week was not embraced by everyone who applied for positions within my company.

For many years, I felt pressure from some of my employees to develop their roles into five-day-a-week ones for the threat they would leave.

They, like so many others before them, subscribed to the quintessential middle-class dream: the full-time 9-5.

It’s a goal that’s peddled to us from a young age by our parents, our educators and society at large. Get a Monday-to-Friday job, work until you’re 65, and live happily ever after in a five-bedroom suburban home and take your boat out on the weekends, we’re told.

I understand that for many, especially on the surface, the appeal of a full-time job is a financial requirement. But, what if you could make a living wage (and then some) and still have time for living?

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