A majority of scientists and pundits now predict that COVID-19 will be with us well into 2021. Its enduring presence is psychologically taxing, and anxiety is an ever more permanent feature of our lives.

It creates stress, which in turn constrains our ability to make the right decisions. It also narrows the range of options we are capable of considering when making a decision. In such circumstances, how can we properly recharge our cognitive, mental and physical batteries? The elephant that lurks in the corridors of power and/or the boardroom but rarely makes the news is that many leaders privately confess to being in a state of complete exhaustion and overwhelmed by the complexity and difficulty of their task.

The personal solutions are well known and understood by wellness practitioners and, increasingly, the general public: exercise a lot, eat well, sleep more, reconnect with nature, and be mindful (particularly when resting!). But what about policy solutions? Reducing meetings time and the days of work in the week go a long way in addressing this mounting issue.

For some years now, we’ve talked about the four-day week that has been a worldwide success for small- and medium-sized companies. A study conducted at the end of last year at Microsoft Japan came to the same conclusion: It works for large companies as well. The introduction of the four-day workweek in a country notorious for professional over-exhaustion led to a big increase in employees’ wellbeing and a 40% jump in productivity. Which will be the first large wellness company to adopt this model?

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