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Young Aussie's secret to get four-day week on six-figure salary: 'You'd be surprised'

Demi was 'miserable' at her five-day work week job, so she took a chance during an interview and hasn't looked back.

Two photos of Demi Kotsoris
Marketing manager Demi Kotsoris has managed to negotiate a four-day work week at three jobs after asking one simple question. (Source: Supplied)

A young Aussie worker has revealed how she scored a four-day work week at three different jobs without compromising her pay. The progressive new trend has been slowly sweeping across the globe, with adopters praising increasing staff morale and productivity.

Some workers have waited for its introduction before they soak up the benefits. But Demi Kotsoris went against tradition when she was just 23 and managed to negotiate it for each new job since.

The 29-year-old told Yahoo Finance there are plenty of industries willing to be flexible, all you have to do is ask.

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She was just 23 when she asked the question after an interview for a marketing manager role.

"When I knew they liked me, I just said to them, 'I'm really good and productive, would you be open to me working four days a week instead of five?' And he just said, 'Yes'," she said.

Getting a positive outcome on her first attempt has helped her build the confidence to ask the same question at her subsequent workplaces.

The marketing manager did admit she only "had the balls" to suggest the four-day week as she wasn't 100 per cent committed to the role.

Do you have a story? Email stew.perrie@yahooinc.com

Kotsoris told Yahoo Finance she wouldn't have minded if they knocked her back, so she wanted to see what she could negotiate.

If times were harder and she either needed a job or really liked the role, she said wouldn't have chanced it.

But she's now earning six figures on a salary comparable to a marketing manager working five days.

Kotsoris remains flexible and said she is not opposed to working on her Friday off for something "fun".

She happily responds to work messages if she's in the mood, otherwise she's doing life admin or organising a little getaway.

Here are the basic steps Kotsoris followed to land a four-day work week:

  1. Establish how open they are to flexibility

  2. Make sure they like you

  3. Offer flexibility depending on demand

  4. Have proof of your productivity and a plan to maintain it

  5. Be happy to negotiate to even a half-day

She has broken down a bit more of the nitty gritty, with some warnings to take into account.

If your workplace feels rigid with zero wiggle room then it's probably not worth asking.

If it is, put forward your case

"I will always make sure that it's at a point they like me and give them an option by saying, 'Hey, if you need me to work more, I'm open to that'," she said.

Kotsoris said it is important to allow them a point to review if this is working and not give an ultimatum that 'these are my terms and that's it'.

Another thing is establish trust, which is an easy track record to prove for her.

"I say, 'I've done this with every other workplace... I'm really productive'," she told Yahoo Finance.

"I don't think I shouldn't be punished for my productivity levels."

The marketing manager said it's the same process.

She said to go to your boss with evidence of your productivity and be prepared to explain how you'd keep those levels under the new system.

"You can say to them, 'What I would really value and what would make me a better worker, is if I could start with just Friday afternoons off'," she said.

"And that can be part of your negotiation at your six or 12-month review ... you'd be surprised."

She warned not to make this move in two scenarios: If you're desperate for a role or already skating on thin ice.

Having an extra day off has given Kotsoris more breathing room for her own life, and helps her achieve tasks that can be difficult after work.

She admitted being "miserable" when working five days and ended up "living for the weekend". But having Friday off has been a game-changer.

"I use it to explore other skill sets," she said.

"The benefits can be finding purpose outside of work.

Demi holding drinks and food
Demi said the benefits of a four-day work week are incredible. (Source: Instagram)

"A lot of people struggle with not having purpose and feeling miserable because of that.

"You'd be surprised at the happiness, joy and energy you have by working four days a week."

4 Day Week Global, an organisation set up to explore and promote the new workplace policy, ran a six-month trial for 26 Australian organisations in 2022.

When the trial ended, organisers found 95 per cent of companies favoured the reduced schedules while also reporting “great satisfaction” with business productivity, performance and the ability to attract employees.

Businesses also saw a 44 per cent reduction in absenteeism and 9 per cent reduction in resignations.

Employees were also in favour of the change, with 96 per cent wanting it to continue post-trial.

Kotsoris is aware a four-day week won't work for many roles.

It's been hailed for its benefits, but the policy has its pitfalls.

Amantha Imber made history in Australia when her management consultancy firm, Inventium, became the first in the country to implement it.

She said it's been a big learning process ever since.

Imber said it required a humungous "shift in mindset, culture and operations" and it can also create an "uncomfortable" and "challenging" level of transparency, accountability and adaptability for everyone.

She admitted neither she nor her leadership team had taken a Friday off all year because times had been tough.

"While I love the four-day week concept and I would implement the policy again in a heartbeat, it is not all smooth sailing, and it’s certainly not a panacea for improving the world of work," she told the Australian Financial Review.

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