Renowned media mogul and former X Factor judge Simon Cowell has taken a bold stance against the traditional five-day workweek, suggesting that people should abandon work on Fridays.
Cowell, 64, shared his perspective in an interview with The Sun, emphasising the importance of achieving a better life-work balance and spending more time with family.
Cowell, who is gearing up for his new show, America’s Got Talent Fantasy League, revealed his decision to abstain from working on Fridays.
He encouraged others to follow suit, saying, “Don’t work on Fridays, because you don’t have to. I don’t think anyone should be working five days a week. It’s just pointless.”
Have a simple routine
The media mogul outlined a simple routine for Fridays, including having dinner at 5 o’clock, avoiding calls and emails after 5:30, watching a happy movie, and spending time outdoors. Cowell’s advice reflects a growing conversation around re-evaluating traditional work norms to enhance well-being.
Expressing his commitment to spending more time with his 10-year-old son Eric, Cowell emphasised the importance of being present as a parent. “Parents have got to be absolutely focused because children know when you’re faking it,” he said.
While Cowell embraces the idea of a four-day workweek, recent developments in the public and private sectors in Britain have shown mixed approaches. The Cabinet Office released new guidance encouraging senior civil servants to be physically present in the office for over 60 percent of the time, citing the need for “strong visible leadership.”
Keeping stress levels low
The trend of adopting a “TWaT” model, where employees work in the office on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, with the remaining days remote, has gained traction. However, not all companies have found success with this approach. Krystal, an internet services firm in London, abandoned the model after discovering it increased stress levels among its staff.
As the conversation around work-life balance continues, Simon Cowell’s decision to forego Fridays adds a prominent voice to the ongoing debate about reshaping traditional work norms for a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle.
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.