Joe O'Connor - The Four-Day Work Week: Learnings from Companies at the Forefront of Work-Time Reduction

Posted on Monday, 13 May 2024
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Our 2023 Annual Social Policy Conference was on the theme of 'A Just Transition'. The fundamental principle of a Just Transition is to leave no people, communities, economic sectors or regions behind as we transition to a low carbon future. Such a transition means changing how we travel, communicate, work, what we eat, wear and even the entertainment we consume. A Just Transition requires that we fairly share both the benefits and challenges of our new way of living. In order to transform how our society and economy operate, we must invest in effective and integrated social protection systems, education, training and lifelong learning, childcare, out of school care, health care, long term care and other quality services. Social investment must be a top priority if those people, communities, economic sectors and regions who are most affected are to be supported as we make the difficult transition to a carbon neutral economy.


Joe O’Connor is the CEO and Co-founder of the Work Time Reduction Center of Excellence, a consulting and research organisation that specialises in reduced-hour, outcomes-focused work models.The WorkTime Reduction CoE is a global initiative based in Canada, in partnership with leading UK and US people-first transformation experts Curium Solutions. As the Director of Curium Solutions Canada, Joe also spearheads the delivery of Curium's award-winning operational excellence, change management and leadership development programs in Canada. Joe previously developed the world's first coordinated pilot program of the four-day working week at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 in Ireland, alongside which he also co-designed and project managed a pioneering research collaboration with Boston College and University College Dublin.He later expanded this model to lead the large-scale, heavily publicised trials of the four-day week in the UK, North America and Australia as the CEO of 4 Day Week Global throughout 2021 and 2022,supporting hundreds of organisations and thousands of employees to shorten their workweek and optimise their productivity. Joe is globally recognised as one of the leading experts and evangelists of the shorter work week movement, having been active on this issue since hosting an international conference on 'The Future of Working Time' in 2018, as well as leading a research project on work time reduction as a visiting research scholar with Cornell University in 2021 and 2022.

Joe presented his paper, 'The Four-Day Work Week - Learnings from Companies at the Forefront of Work-Time Reduction' at our 2023 Annual Social Policy Conference which can be read HERE and his presentation can be accessed HERE.