Team update: The impact of a 4-day work week fortnightly at XWiki

15 Feb 2023 5 min read

Written by

The HR Team

Last year, we noticed how 4-day work weeks were gaining momentum across the Globe. And due to the pandemic and because we prioritize the well-being, comfort, and happiness of our employees, we have implemented in 2022 a day off once every two weeks. We also wanted to answer ecological concerns and provide excellent work conditions for new teammates. Therefore, starting on the 1st of February 2022, with a trial of one year, we hopped on a new collective journey.

And it seems we weren't the only ones doing so - in 2022, a large-scale independent experiment took place primarily in the US and Ireland in 33 companies. The stories we read on the Internet seemed incredible, from skyrocketing productivity to improved feelings of well-being and personal freedom.

We were very curious about how things went for our XWikiers as well. So, let's dive into the results.


  • Our team experimented with a 4-day work week once every two weeks from February 2022 to January 2023.
  • XWikiers reported gaining a better focus at work, an improved sense of productivity, and boosting morale, motivation, and creativity.
  • A part of the team reported difficulty in managing their workload in only 4 days and encountering difficulties when a certain teammate was unavailable.

How did this work?

Every employee from XWiki had access to this benefit in 2022 and through this, we aimed to address the challenge of burnout felt during the pandemic and offer time resources for personal well-being as well. In terms of our way of working:

  • We could take the day off between Monday and Friday;
  • We made sure to always discuss when we would be taking the days off at the start of each month;
  • Each team had the autonomy to negotiate and reach an internal agreement;
  • We kept track of the off days through our internal calendar;
  • A system was put in place that notified us weekly on who is off and when.

All these strategies aimed to make sure we communicated the days we wanted, negotiated to always have backup people for emergencies, and gave full visibility in the company on people's days off. We place great trust in both our teams and each individual employee and thus, we trusted each team to use their best judgment to plan the days off in a balanced way that allows us to continue servicing our clients without disruptions. 

How we did the analysis

Out of 45 employees, 36 participated in our analysis (7 managers and 29 employees), with our team being spread across the Globe in France, Romania, Germany, Brazil, and Luxembourg. The survey was filled out between September 14 - 28, 2022. In this survey, we had both quantitative and qualitative questions meant to give insights about the difficulties encountered during the year, adaptations per team, noticeable advantages, and any other insightful comments.

What we found out

The majority of XWikiers reported being very satisfied with this new benefit (31 out of 35), which doesn't necessarily come as a surprise when correlated with other information we gathered. Another noticeable aspect is that 33 colleagues would like to see this benefit extended in 2023. These are the quantitative results of the survey. Now, the most awaited part by all: a deep dive into each team's insights on this benefit and their collective experience with it. Some of the most notable observations our teammates had can be also noticed in the table below:

  • Better focus at work, better mood, improved productivity, and motivation, boosted creativity (9)
  • Longer holidays/weekends, more time to rest (8)
  • Less stress, avoid burnout (6)
  • A feeling of being taken care of by the company/gratefulness/desire to give back (6)
  • Societal change/help and reduced carbon footprint (3)
  • Helped in the recruitment/motivation to join XWiki (2)
  • 12 XWikiers reported feeling no disadvantage or difficulty
  • A few colleagues reported that it was difficult to manage the workload and organize everything in only 4 days (6)
  • Unavailability of certain team members (6)
  • Forgetting to record the off days in our internal app (3)
  • Difficulties to start/understand the process which led to the necessity of more adaptation time required (2)
  • Planning holidays within the team (1)
  • Communication (1)
  • Delayed priorities (1)
  • The people without an employee status did not enjoy the benefit (1)

You might think some of the activity would wind down. But we're here to say, on the contrary, 2022 has been a packed, intense, and fruitful year, with many newly released features and improvements, participation at events, new partnerships, and expansion of our teams.

We were also curious to take note of how XWikiers dealt with some of the challenges. Here's what we found out:

  Some planning was necessary in order to anticipate the monthly workload and to minimize the impact on the work during the days off;
  Each team made sure to have at least one teammate available when another one took the day off;
  The number of calls was reduced in one team (the good ol' "can it be a written message instead of a call?");
  Constant evaluation of priorities was necessary in order to decide what activities provided the best results (80/20 Pareto rule).

What's next?

Despite difficulties encountered along the way (which is to be expected whenever a major change occurs), most XWikiers saw a positive impact on themselves and their colleagues. There are, of course, still many lessons to learn in negotiation, managing work, and prioritization. But we consider this to be an opportunity to further explore and develop as a tech company while also cultivating work-life balance.

Probably it comes as no surprise then that we are extending the benefit in 2023 as well, in exactly the same format, with the aim that in time we'll switch completely to a 4-day work week. For us, the work we do matters way more than when and where we're doing it. Therefore we are firm believers in offering flexibility to each employee to be its most productive and thrive in the workplace.

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