By Dr Lindsay McMillan

On face value, a four-day work week seems like the answer to Australia’s work/life balance struggle, but in practice it is more a passing fad than a sustainable solution.

A four-day work week may allow workers another day for family and ‘living’, but it does nothing to address the bigger issues occurring when workers are at work.  

Our research of 1,000 Australian employees revealed that 46 per cent feel like they can’t turn work off anymore, whether they were in the office or not, so a four-day work week may not change much for these workers.

While the debate around the four-day work week signals Australia is at least beginning to acknowledge the important role workplace wellbeing plays, it does not achieve genuine change.

In order to achieve this we need to take a holistic approach to our workplaces to improve outcomes for workers, management and the organisation.

Employees need to take a closer look at the culture and relationships within workplaces which are closely linked to inclusion, development, engagement and life enhancement – four principles that are essential to maintain a healthy workplace.

We need to respond to the big challenges innovatively and proactively and as part of a broader discussion that aims to deliver productive and purposeful workplaces.

It is our aim, through the a future that works campaign, to ignite a robust debate about changing entrenched work practices and improving outcomes for Australian workers. This is achieved through a comprehensive reform process, rather than partial measures like a four-day work week. 

To read the report, Delivering Purpose and Meaning click here.