Ed Hunter: EXCLUSIVE – Recruiter Claims He Invented Four Day Week in 1998

Ed Hunter reports from London.

A 4 day working week has been hailed as the new holy grail for forward thinking companies across the globe. It’s been shown to improve happiness scores, increase productivity and lower costs as many businesses try it out.

Thumbed into a manifesto by a struggling Labour and trialled recently by Microsoft Japan, one UK recruiter claims he’s the brainchild behind the idea. And is now taking legal advice over its ownership.

“I saw it on the news first” said Rodrigo Ecroutér, 46. “All these health professionals saying how great it was and this geezer (sic) in Japan getting free publicity for Microsoft. All I thought was, that’s what I’ve been doing since 1998.”

“I first realised Fridays were a total waste of time in my second week in full time employment. Week three I worked out they still pay you, as long as you’re at your desk. No one’s questioned it since.”

Total agreement

Rodrigo’s not the only recruiter working like this.

A recent study of the industry found that 91% of recruiters consider Fridays ‘a total waste of time’, with 3% labelling them ‘free piss ups.’

Yet another study showed many recruiters now favour Instagram stalking or leaving scathing Glassdoor reviews for competitors.

Meanwhile 95% of candidates surveyed* said Friday was the worst day of the week to receive a call from a recruiter.

“I hate them. Every single one of them. Even the offer of leaving my current hell hole isn’t enough to change my opinion. If they catch me in the pub at 11am I’m kicking off.” Said Darrel, 2 years unemployed.

A new problem

Whilst a 4 Day Working Week isn’t yet the mainstay for UK business, there’s a worry amongst some it will deplete a currently thriving industry.

“If they’re saying Thursdays are the new Fridays, I might be in trouble.” Says Rodrigo. “It’ll mean doing 4 days work in 3. And ironically mean I may have to work on Fridays to address the balance.”

“That said, I spent 45 minutes today finding out which biscuit I am, so I might have some wiggle room.”

One man’s solution

One boss not looking at a shortened work week is agency Director Sal Moore, 56 who thinks the industry’s going soft.

“We didn’t win the war with a shorter working week. We’ll be offering aromatherapy next. Or trauma support for candidates’ dead pets.”

“All of my lads work weekends, let alone Fridays. We wake up, smash it and don’t stop smashing it. Most people stay over 6 months so I don’t think it’s a problem.”

“Ask my local Porsche dealer whether Sal Moore’s doing OK. In fact, ask him if he got rid of the lipstick marks off his shirt. He’ll know what you mean.”

The legal fight

Whilst Mr Ecroutér’s legal claims are yet to be heard, he has plans to take full credit for the working initiative.

“I started editing the Wikipedia page, but every time I change the entry someone changes it back. I think it’s the ex-wife. I’m also writing to The Guinness Book of Records, but as of yet, no reply.”

“I can’t go fully public on LinkedIn as my team will see and they have 3 hour phone times to complete on a Friday.”

*Stats fabricated in support of proposal.

Will Mr Ecoutrér’s legal claims be heard? Will recruitment companies ever accept a 4 day working week? Will Sal Moore ever find the right Porsche to suit his personality? Only time will tell.

Join me next week to read the story of the Non Billing Manager who won the Nigerian Lottery.

Ed Hunter