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Petri Mäkinen: A four-day workweek boosts performance and bliss

Team Lead and Delivery Manager Petri Mäkinen did what many people dream about and switched to a four-day work week. The prize? An unburdened mind and more time to focus on the tasks that matter the most. In his blog post he explains his journey at Sofigate, defying the conventional assumptions of consulting, embracing work-life balance, and staying true to himself.

Have you ever come across the assumption that long hours and sacrificing work-life balance are prerequisites for a successful career in consulting? I certainly have. That is why I want to flip the script by sharing the story of my alternative career move.

A “no overtime” rule for an excited junior developer

I joined Sofigate in November 2019 as a junior ServiceNow developer. I was a recent university graduate and had no experience in IT, consulting, or ServiceNow.

My new job was so inspiring, I was immediately captivated. There was so much to learn, so much to explore. I worked for eight intensive hours every day and was able to deliver results within tight time frames. Amidst all the excitement, I still knew myself all too well: I was at risk of getting overly excited and compromising free time and recovery.

Therefore, I established one rule from the get-go: no overtime for me. Once the workday ended, my laptop would go to sleep, and I would resume the following day.

Still, working with highly focused tasks, constantly learning, and striving for new goals, I found my work mentally quite demanding. It was during those moments that I started questioning myself: How do I envision my life for the next three decades? What does work mean to me? How do I want to live my life?

Fewer hours, better performance

The turning point came in August 2021 when I made the decision to switch to a four-day workweek. The idea had been on my mind for a while, and I decided to give it a shot. Fortunately, my employer was flexible and supportive from the beginning. I am immensely grateful to Sofigate for that. Not every workplace embraces such arrangements.

The impact of working only four days a week was immediate. My energy levels soared, my thoughts became clearer, and my overall performance, both at work and in my personal life, skyrocketed. It felt like I was in the driver’s seat of my life again. Through my four-day workweek, I took on more responsibility in customer assignments and spearheaded internal development efforts focused on customer success management.

In February 2023, I achieved a significant career leap when I was promoted to Team Lead and Delivery Manager for a ServiceNow consulting team, all the while continuing to enjoy my Fridays off. Sometimes, as they say, less truly is more. In this context, working less has allowed me to gain so much more.

Ask questions and follow your gut

What do you truly desire from your work life and career? It all begins and ends with self-knowledge. To live a life that aligns with your aspirations, you must first understand what you truly want. Identify your strengths, determine the work environment and pace that suit you best, and envision the role in which you truly can excel.

Armed with this knowledge, you can shape your life and take steps in the direction you desire. It may require some audacious moves or stir questions, but at the end of the day, it’s your life and your decisions. If you are courageous enough, you can – and should – start to own your future.

What does your story look like? Explore our open positions here.

The author

Petri Mäkinen is a Team Lead and Delivery Manager for a ServiceNow consulting team at Sofigate.


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