The length of the workweek has long been a subject of debate for many experts around the world. Some say that having a four day work week is good for the overall happiness of the employees and can help businesses assess how they perform. Others argue the contrary and say it is bad for business and the clients. 

With the work environment now changing and remote work becoming popular, the argument of having a shorter workweek has reemerged.

If you are considering it for your business, here are the pros and cons of having a 4-day workweek:

Advantages

1. Lesser Distractions

Some argue that short work weeks can reduce the distractions for your employees. They will get the time they need to finish other responsibilities that affect their focus, such as housework, bills and others.

2. Better Productivity

If you have overworked workers and are discontent with how the business moves, you will notice that their productivity will be significantly affected. Even if you tell them to work longer hours, the productivity levels won’t improve.

With a shorter work time, you will be able to give your workers enough time to recuperate and refocus before they go back to work.

3. Reduced Costs

For businesses and employees trying to save up on expenses, a 4-day work week can be beneficial. The company will be closed for an extra day, saving your business on electricity bills and other operational costs.

Employees will spend less on travel expenses, food and other daily expenses they could save and use for essential bills.

4. Improves Employee Mental And Physical Wellbeing

A shorter workweek is also beneficial for the employees because they will get more time to recover from a busy work week and spend time with their loved ones. In turn, they will come back to work motivated and happy. Their physical health will also be good because they run a lower risk of burnout and exhaustion.

If you have healthy employees, you will have a higher chance of retaining them for the long run.

5. Environment-friendly

A short work week can reduce your workers’ and your business’s carbon footprint, which is essential in the fight against climate change. 

Disadvantages

1. It Can Cost The Business A Lot Of Money

Employers may find it hard to manage a shorter work schedule because people will prefer jobs that will offer higher pay than shorter work hours. Since employers have to keep up with other companies’ offerings to entice workers, it will disable them from hiring a lot of people in the process.

2. Fosters Inequality

The shorter workweek may also widen current inequalities between employees, from those with specialities to manual workers. There will be a disparity between their salaries and the attention offered to them by the business.

3. Not Applicable To All Industries

A 4-day work week will not apply to industries needing to be in operations 24/7, such as hotels, customer service, manufacturing, hospitals, and others. Industries that may reduce their work schedule may also find it hard to adapt to a shorter work time because of the operational changes that have to be made to make it work.

4. It Is An Expensive Risk

As mentioned in the previous point, shifting to a shorter workweek can be a risky move for businesses, especially if the business requires a specific workflow. If they cannot sustain it even for a short period, recovery can be difficult.

5. Hard Coordination

Managing teams through a short workday may not be easy, especially if the business runs round the clock. If the days off are scattered, and they are in different teams, setting up a collective meeting can be tricky.

Employees may also find it hard to call in their day off because they might get called back at any time. Having a 4-day work week can vary in terms of how well it will work for your business goals and market. If the results are favourable, go for it!

If you are considering trying it out, make sure to do your research, seek the opinion of your customers and employees and adjust your operations to maximise productivity, improve work-life balance and improve employee retention and satisfaction.        

So what do you think? Should we move on to 4-day work week? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Looking to improve productivity in your workplace? Check out these articles:
8 Steps to Digital Productivity 
How to Stay Focused If You Are Assigned to Multiple Projects at Once
When Good is Not Good Enough                

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33 replies on “Should We Have 4-day Work Week?

  1. The four day work week sounds good but like you mentioned is hard to implement across various work fields. And plus the issue of money comes in when the earning is based hourly, the lesser the hours the lesser the pay.
    I think for the jobs that can, maybe an option of working from home for a couple of days can help.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. i think there are some countries which have a 4 day work week. are you aware of those and how they are doing it? creative scheduling is nothing new to the medical profession as work hours can be 8, 10, or 12 which all then become work weeks which vary from 5, 4 or 3 days. hospitals are 24/7. not all business could function on just a 4 day work week but many business try to accommodate the workers so they have a different work week. scheduling can be a nightmare.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those countries or rather companies with 4 days work week tend to hire more employees to cover / overlap the area of absence of the others when they are taking rest. Some may implement flexible working hours, meaning a half day on Thursday and a half day on Friday instead of a full off day.

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  3. I think a four day work week is great. To save the loss for the businesses, why not have half the employees work Monday through Thursday and the other half Tuesday through Friday? I realize they will be short handed 2 days a week instead of just one but it may work.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. 🤣🤣 Glad you’re still laughing. Wow, so exciting and it sounds like you’re hanging in there. So happy everything is going well!!!! You got that right.. enjoy it while it lasts! Can’t wait to meet the sweet new bundle. 💖💖💖💖🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

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  4. I had it during pandemic. It’s way better and you have time for other things in your life. With only two days off it’s always a struggle to finish everything. One day more makes a difference!

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  5. Nah, it’s a good idea though. Having a four day work costs more to the company and demand will get higher the pay will be reduced comparing other sectors. When it comes to cost cutting, the first point will be increasing the production hours. it’s good with the theory, practically it has its own difficulties, which you clearly mentioned step to step. 👍😄 Interesting post Kally 🤗 BTW – I got twin boys on Oct 21st. Been very busy, and still busy 😅 Have a lovely week Kally 🥰

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  6. If a 4-day workweek, will employees work 12 hour shifts to make up the difference?

    Or will they get pay cut reflecting the difference?

    I believe if we started out with a 4-day work week everyone would be used to it. No issues!

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  7. Certainly there are those businesses over here that have introduced a 4 day week (still maintaining the same number of full time hours – so longer days), with Wednesday being the day off as opposed to a Monday or Friday. They seem to have made it work well. It’s worth a try.

    I started work, at the commencement of the era re workplace reform, in an organisation of 8,500 people and then moved into industrial relations in the same organisation where we had transitioned to a 9 day fortnight. The trend was certainly less sick days and so on to start with, and then the old habits started to kick back in. Of course these days we would put much of such behaviour down to poor leadership.

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  8. Good presentation of pros and cons of the four-day work week. However, coming from a Judeo-Christian viewpoint, God’s plan was for humans to work for six days per week and rest on a Sabbath every seventh day. This plan works pretty well for most, even if you take a ‘sabbath’ a different day of the week. Most people are stressed from work, not so much from what it requires of them, but because of unrealistic expectations from themselves.
    Check out 24/6 by Dr. Matthew Sleeth. Cool reading: https://www.amazon.com/24-Prescription-Healthier-Happier-Life/dp/1414372280
    ❤️&🙏, c.a.

    Like

  9. A business running with a four-day work week may be shut out from certain opportunities depending on the business’ industry and location. I am thinking of businesses in hospitality or tourism.

    Liked by 1 person

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