We were having a discussion around the salary and the expectations with the candidate and everything seemed to be working out for both parties when suddenly a question was asked –
“You guys are 4 days working, right?”
We were taken aback by this question, but we told that candidate that we work 5 days a week, and there are situations when we have to work beyond that as well. The candidate did not join us. We decided to think over our work policy as we had heard a lot of “noise” around the 4-day work policy. We decided to ask the same question to fellow founders to know how they felt about this.
Below are the responses we got from them (our detailed response is at the end of the article).
Responses in favor of the 4-day workweek policy:
CEO, Misulis Group
I’ve implemented a 4-day workweek in my organization. When I first started my business, I had a 5-day in-office work as you might expect. But I knew the studies saying how 4 days a week is better for employees and leads to better productivity. I consulted with my team and decided to implement the 4-day workweek, taking off Wednesdays. They were actually skeptical at first and were worried that they might not be able to get enough work done. But a few weeks after starting this plan, they really started to enjoy the 2 and 2 weeks. We were more awake, motivated, and productive. We could have a real rest on the weekends because we had time during the week to get things done at home. In fact, when we would work Wednesdays and take Friday off instead, we would get exhausted on Wednesdays. One of my business partners now works 5 days a week at a large organization, and she tells me that she really misses the 4 days a week schedule, and she plans to champion it at her new job.
The 4-day workweek really works, it really helps us rest, and have a personal life along with professional life. And some weeks we will have to work extra time or move the off day around, but overall it really works, and it cuts down on the time that we are both at work and not being productive. We can instead spend that time at home and with our friends and families.
The Money Mongers
We moved from a five-day workweek to a four-day work plan right at the start of the year. So far, the 4-day workweek has revolutionized things at our workplace. The employees are more engaged with the job, and productivity levels have remained the same.
The four-day work week doesn’t necessarily work miracles on productivity levels for employees. Banking an increase in productivity on reduced days of working doesn’t make a lot of sense. For instance, nothing much has changed in terms of productivity at our workplace after instituting the 4-day work plan. However, employees seem to be happier with what they’re doing, and they’re certainly more engaging.
Everyone works in a unique way and enjoys different types of work. By working 4 days a week, productivity would be enhanced if the workplace was personalized to the individual, similar to the ongoing attempts to cater schooling to children of various genders, learning styles, and skills. Make it socially acceptable to take breaks, have lengthy meals, wear headphones, or work standing up by providing options like quiet rooms for highly distracted or introverted employees (for some reason, some people like that).
Give folks work they enjoy. Understanding and maximizing the individuals on your team is one of the most basic management commandments. However, we tend to forget about it later on, when the email fills up and the birds stop singing. While it takes time to get to know and mold our people, it pays off in the long run and makes everyone more productive.
MD, EV Cable Shop
Giving employees an extra personal day allows them to work on personal projects, and hobbies, and spend more time with their families, resulting in a better work-life balance. Working long hours increases stress, which can have significant health consequences for employees. Employees who have a better work-life balance are healthier and more productive.
A four-day workweek also gives employees a competitive advantage when it comes to hiring. Flexible scheduling and work-life balance are important to employees. Companies that offer plans like this might position themselves as industry leaders. Employees love working for a firm that prioritizes employee satisfaction.
Director of Operations, Bergel Law
An increase in productivity – Employees that are dissatisfied tend to distract their coworkers. The main premise behind a shorter work week is that happier, more fulfilled people are more focused on their work while they are actually at work. I tried working four days a week. According to the findings, 78 percent of employees might better balance their professional and personal lives. This is up from 54 percent before the experiment.
Retention and recruitment – Being able to offer a more flexible work schedule is clearly a bonus that persuades employees to stay at a company in the age of the millennial. Knowing that they’ll get a three-day weekend keeps staff motivated week after week. It’s still a somewhat uncommon benefit, but it may be a wonderful way to attract top talent and keep them motivated.
Linda G Thompson
We have had a four-day work plan at our business for a year now. While we started it in order to entice more employees to return to the office, it quickly became a fixture at our workplace, even for the remote workers. In my opinion, 4-day workweeks are not gimmicks by any stretch.
For one, the four-day workweek taught our employees to do more within a shorter period of time, without jeopardizing their productivity. In our experience, any things done in five days within any workspace can be done in three days or less. The 4-day workweek essentially pushed our employees to a higher level of efficiency, while also cutting out the burnout and frequent requests for PTO due to constant office work.
CEO & Tech Expert, imgkits
Productivity increases – The very first advantage of a four-day workweek is the increased productivity that most businesses see after experimenting with shorter weeks.
Let’s be honest: just because employees are on the clock for eight hours (or more) per day doesn’t mean they’re working productively the entire time. According to a recent study on workplace productivity, during an eight-hour workday, the average worker is productive for slightly over four hours. When compared to a typical five-day workweek, the four-day workweek has been shown to sustain (and in some cases boost) production levels.
In other words, it seems that when employees have more free time to attend to personal matters, they are better able to focus at work (rather than spending time thinking about the personal matters they are unable to attend to). Employers and employees both benefit.
Chief Executive Officer, Luckybobbleheads
A four-day workweek, in my opinion, will boost productivity. I believe that reducing a 5-day commute to a 4-day commute would be beneficial. If businesses require people to work 5 or 6 days a week, part-time jobs would be available.
I believe that having an extra day off to plan family time and go shopping would benefit the economy. Families may eat out or go to the movies more if they believe they have more time with their children. Instead of missing work, they could schedule personal appointments on their day off. I also believe that people who are happy, relaxed, and well-rested make better employees.
CMO, Joy Organics
Motivation – Moving to a four-day workweek, with compressed or reduced hours, can be a powerful motivator for employees. It’s seen as a method for the company to help its employees both on and off the job, just like any other perk. Because these programs are uncommon, employees may be motivated to work hard to earn or keep the reward.
Cost-cutting – A poll of business leaders conducted by Henley Business School inquired if the four-day workweek was cost-effective. More than half (51%) said they had saved money. Lower facility and utility costs are among them. Almost two-thirds say their productivity has increased.
Architectural Draftsman, AC Design Solutions
Cost savings – A four-day workweek can help everyone save money. The obvious benefit is that operating costs would be reduced significantly because the workplace would be closed one extra day per week. Employees would also save money on commuting and other expenses such as lunch and coffee during the day.
An increase in productivity: Dissatisfied employees distract their coworkers. The main premise behind a shorter workweek is that better, more fulfilled people are more focused on their work while they are actually at work. A four-day week was trialed by Perpetual Guardian, a New Zealand company. According to the findings, 78 percent of employees might better balance their professional and personal lives. This is up from 54 percent before the experiment.
Retention and recruitment: Being capable of offering a more flexible work schedule is a bonus that persuades workers to stay at a company in the age of the millennial. Knowing that they’ll get a three-day weekend keeps staff motivated week after week. It’s still a somewhat uncommon benefit, but it may be a wonderful way to attract top talent and keep them motivated.
4 day work week disadvantages:
It isn’t appropriate for every business model: Unfortunately, not every organization can benefit from a four-day workweek. It’s only a viable choice for businesses that can convert their entire operation to a new style of functioning. Adopting a new style of working is a huge step, so think about whether a 4 week is the best fit for your firm.
Workplace stress and longer hours: In practice, most four-day-week employees will most likely be required to work the very same 40-hour weeks as five-day-week employees. Shifts could be prolonged to ten hours in this situation. Longer days may hurt business employees’ stress levels, as well as their overall health and productivity.
Managing Director, Tiger Financial
Aside from the length of time spent working, the following factors influence productivity:
Loneliness at Work: Almost half of today’s workforce says they are lonely. When we realize that most of us are favorably filled with people we see every day at work, this makes little sense. The problem mirrors a larger trend of personal connection being eroded as a result of technology. There is considerably less face-to-face connection and solid ties at work as a result of instant messenger and social networking. Companies should lower cubicle barriers, use glass instead of opaque walls, and increase walkways to improve human relationships at work; the open office concept should be abandoned because it reduces interaction and collaboration. Alternatively, make the work more collaborative. Alternatively, do weekly happy hours outside of work and assist coworkers in becoming friends.
Personalization and autonomy: Everyone works uniquely and enjoys different types of work. Productivity would be enhanced if the workplace was personalized to the individual, similar to the ongoing attempts to cater schooling to children of various genders, learning styles, and skills. Make it socially okay to take breaks, have lengthy meals, wear headphones, or work standing up by providing options like quiet rooms for highly distracted or introverted employees (for some reason some people like that). Give folks work they enjoy. Understanding and maximizing the people on your team is one of the most basic management commandments. However, we tend to forget about it later on, when the email fills up as well as the birds stop singing. While it takes time to get to know and mold our people, it pays off in the long run and makes everybody more productive.
CEO, The Dominguez Firm
Personally, I think a 4-day workweek really does enhance the productivity of employees. This arrangement gives employees an extra day to spend with their loved ones and for themselves. However, I think this would only work in the context that workday length remains at 8 hours or less. One mistake I’ve seen many companies make is that they lengthen the workday in order to accommodate the extra day off. Some employees are very willing to make this trade, but I think they’re doing so at the expense of their effectiveness at work. As the workday comes to an end, it is normal for employee performance to wane. This reduction in productivity and efficiency would most likely increase if more hours were added to the day. It also shortens the time they could spend for rest, recreation, and personal life. In sum, I am for the 4-day workweek provided that the workday remains at the same length or less. Lengthening the workday rather defeats the purpose of it all.
Founder & CEO, The Upper Ranks
4-Day Workweek: Employees work four days per week instead of five days per week in a four-day workweek. Models differ depending on the needs of the company. The key distinction is the total number of hours that employees must work. During the pandemic, most of the employees were working remotely or were working in a hybrid setting. That made them realize the benefits of working remotely like increased productivity, ability to focus on work, and a good work-life balance. To no surprise, the workers are wanting a four-day workweek as it helps them with their mental fitness, relaxation, and productivity.
Correlation between the 4-day work week and increased productivity: The correlation between them is that fewer work hours has resulted in an increase in employee satisfaction, and has made them better workers and more focused. It has been seen that employees tend to get more work done when they work for fewer hours as compared to when they work for more time. Working fewer hours results in happier, healthier, and more engaged staff. We all know that working long hours has a negative impact on our health. Shorter hours, on the other hand, can help employees feel more rested, better able to handle complex caring demands, or simply spend less time distracted by personal responsibilities at work, which can help prevent workplace nuances like burnout, boredom, and depression. A four-day workweek not only improves employee happiness, company dedication, and teamwork but also reduces stress. Even better, switching to a four-day workweek has no negative impact on employee productivity or company output.
So working fewer hours a day can increase employees’ productivity and it is not a myth.
A four-day workweek is, ideally, a 32-hour workweek with no loss in productivity, pay, or benefits. Depending on the company and the industry, everyone might work Monday through Thursday and have Fridays off. Other possibilities include allowing each employee to choose their extra day off or having a company-wide policy of a different third day off, such as Monday or Wednesday.
The idea behind a four-day workweek is to achieve the same results in fewer hours so people have more time to pursue other interests, spend time with loved ones, and manage their lives. Companies could benefit through increased sales, decreased worker burnout, and lower turnover, among other positives.
Responses in opposition to the 4-day workweek policy:
Resource Manager, Ukulele Tabs
Employees were shown to be really productive when it was first implemented. However, there’s a huge BUT that subsequently arose the longer we kept it that way. We soon discovered as our Employees adapted to the change that they soon got back to their old habits, and with them, their former productivity levels. Ergo, we soon plateaued to the same level as a five-day workweek.
That said, I am not very particular about the 4-day work week but it may be a good proposition to impose it for a limited schedule, just to give employees a much-needed breather.
The benefit of implementing a four-day workweek policy is that it often allows companies to improve job satisfaction levels, reduce the risk of burnout, and even help their staff members to achieve a proper work/life balance, which in turn can significantly boost productivity and reduce the risk of employee churn in the workplace.
The downside to it is that if leaders fail to implement the right work boundaries, such policies can start to prove to be detrimental, as employees may find themselves working overtime, even on their days off, just to compensate for unfinished projects/tasks, due to the shortened workdays. And this, more often than not, leads straight back to the problem of effectively dealing with job fatigue and burnout.
It is for this reason that I would often recommend sticking to the five-day workweek, but instead, shortening the hours worked each day, which should help to create a more relaxed work atmosphere in the office, as well as promote better mental well-being in staff members without leadership having to worry about the risk of overburdening their employees.
Marketing Manager, Visual Ping
A shorter workweek may increase productivity, but there are drawbacks to be aware of. I like the scheduling challenges that a 4-day workweek provides, especially if an employee is out sick, in my opinion. Unexpected absences of team members make reallocating work within a shorter time frame difficult. I believe the challenge is worthwhile. A shorter workweek may also make scheduling shifts more difficult. Shifts may overlap, resulting in higher labor costs, or coverage may be unavailable during the five days that the bulk of businesses and consumers in the United States operate. In their 4-day workweek experiment, they ran into several scheduling challenges. Teams must forecast and plan for these on and off times because it can be difficult to recall who is going off on which days. In my opinion, employees may be more likely to burn out in organizations that just cut the number of days worked rather than the number of hours worked. It may also interfere with childcare and place a further financial strain on working parents and caregivers.
CEO, Pet Insurance Review
A 4-day work week means longer days and heavier workloads. This can be taxing mentally and negatively impact an employee’s quality of work, especially towards the end of a work day.
Considering the stress and hard work that comes with the present day’s work scenario, I feel the 4-day work week model will give the employee a chance to breathe in easily. It will certainly have a positive outcome in the beginning. But, once it becomes a norm or people start considering it a norm, I don’t think that it will make any huge difference. The thing is, those who are serious about their work and are ready to put in the asked effort will do it anyways. But, those who aren’t serious or do not like their jobs. 4- day work week or anything else will not be able to bring out their best.
Responses with mixed views:
Marketing Manager, GunHub Australia
The 4 days work week schedule can be effective or not at all. And it all depends on the organization and employees’ nature of work and full cooperation to achieve the desired goal for this new working schedule. For me, this new approach is beneficial to employees since they can have more time for their families, however, this will also lead to a decline in productivity if they cannot meet the required workload they have to finish for the week.
Ideally, we can apply the 4 days of work in a week to some degrees of work or types of careers. For example, there are some jobs that do not really require a specific time frame in order to accomplish the workload. So long as the employee can deliver the work regardless of the work schedule then everything is good. This is not a gimmick, it just needed to be used accordingly depending on the nature of the work and to establish a good set of rules to be effective.
I think the 4 day work week is a great way to increase productivity. I have found that I am able to complete more tasks in a shorter amount of time when I work fewer days. It also allows me to take care of my personal life and responsibilities during the week while still being able to earn a living.
The 4 day work week has been around for quite some time now, and while it may seem like a great idea at first, there is actually little evidence to support the claim that it actually leads to an increase in productivity. In fact, research suggests that working fewer hours per week may actually lead to lower productivity levels. This is because when workers are given less time to complete tasks, they often adopt different strategies in order to meet deadlines. These strategies can often be more time-consuming and inefficient, which ultimately results in lower outputs.
While the 4 day work week may sound like a great way to save on time, it is likely not worth the trade-off in terms of productivity.
CEO & Recruiter, GetPaydayLoan
I think that a 4 day work week can lead to productivity. It’s well known that ‘sprint’ working increases productivity, and focusing on tasks within a shorter timeframe is likely (IMHO) to result in faster completion – especially if a 3-day weekend is thrown in for good measure. However, its practical application may necessitate some deftness, perhaps beginning with a trial period with the strict understanding that if productivity falls, the trial will end. Some occupations, and even some workforces in the same trade or profession, would (I suppose) differ.
In cases where unions or professional associations have control over working conditions, the cost of implementing a four-day week may easily outweigh any potential benefits. There would be additional costs associated with 24/7 services, as fewer working days would imply (presumably) different rotas and possibly more staff. (Four-day-a-week rotas may have disadvantages for employees.)
I can imagine all sorts of additional detailed questions involving pay, holidays, and benefits such as parental leave – not to mention that in some countries, legislation may be required to permit or enforce different working day limits.
Marketing Manager, Joloda Hydraroll
For some industries, I can see the positive move to a 4-day working week, but for one like ours where we are manufacturing and distributing it would be hard to fit with our business model. Some may suggest that it would be beneficial for some departments over others, but if people weren’t working in the research and design team and someone on the shop floor needed support with part of the manufacturing then this could delay the project.
For the 4-day week to work, there would have to be some rules in place which meant people from each team were present on every day, to avoid questions going unanswered. Even in this situation, this would then require people to brief their team members on projects taking place on their off days, which would be counterproductive as it would take time away from both employees’ days.
The only time I can see a 4-day week working in our industry would be if there was a reduced order book and simply not the orders to fill the 5 days.
CEO, First Day
The four-day workweek is not a new phenomenon. It was an idea put forward by Tim Ferris in his book ‘Four-hour workweek’ as early as 2007. Today, 92% of the employees surveyed are in favor of a four-hour work week according to the survey done by Qualtrics at the start of this year.
Demand for a four-hour workweek:
The reasons for supporting a shortened workweek are obvious to millennials and Gen Zers. Studies show these two groups make up the majority of the workforce today and what they value most is a healthy work-life balance. They also want control over where they work and how they work, basically autonomy to create the work-life balance they want.
While I don’t have hands-on experience managing employees in a shortened workweek, I can see that this is the way going forward because of many factors like:
– The workers today value different things than their predecessors in terms of job security, benefits, vacation days, and work-life balance.
– The pandemic has altered our understanding and perception of work and shown us that remote work is very much doable.
– Doing efficient work in less time is the forte of workers of our generation and they know that quality work can be done and managed in a shortened workweek.
Pros/Cons of the four-day workweek:
The biggest benefit of a four-day work week according to its supporters is improved mental health and better work-life balance for everyone. Qualtrics survey also shows that roughly a quarter of a percentage of time at work is spent doing tasks that are secondary to their core work by an average employee. 42% of employees stay connected to work even when they are out of the office.
These stats show that the same amount and quality of work can be managed in a shortened workweek, even if employees put in more hours every day than previously done during a five-day workweek. The lines between work and leisure have also been blurred due to advancements in technology and meeting deadlines or attending impromptu meetings is not an issue anymore.
We haven’t observed any direct negative impact on work for now because of a four-day workweek but things will become clearer later this year. Several U.S and Canada-based companies are experimenting with a four-day workweek from April to September of this year and the results of this experiment will clear our doubts about the disadvantages of a shortened workweek if any.
Another factor that comes to mind is that efficiency might be affected in a large organization for a little time because adopting new things disrupts the already existing cycle of how things were done before. However, organizations need to try new things to know if they are suitable for their company culture or not.
Two years ago, no one could have predicted that remote work would become a global thing. But it did and we know now that the remote work/ hybrid work model is here to stay. Just like that, the needs of the modern working class and the younger generation are different from what the baby boomers were accustomed to. We need to accept that and move forward with time, embracing new and exciting things like the now celebrated four-day workweek.
It really depends on how productive people are during a traditional five-day workweek. I’ve found that if you notice that a lot of time is taken up with useless meetings and people tend to procrastinate their tasks because they have so much time on their hands during a five-day week, by shortening the week you can actually increase productivity.
Of course, there are always going to be people who argue that they need those five days in order to get everything done, but I think it really varies from person to person and from company to company. What works for one might not work for another. Ultimately, I think it’s important to experiment with different schedules and see what leads to the best results for both employees and employers.
There’s been a lot of talks lately about the 4 day work week. Some people swear by it, claiming that it’s led to a significant increase in their productivity. Others are more skeptical, arguing that it’s nothing more than a gimmick. So what’s the truth? Does the 4 day work week actually lead to increased productivity, or is it just a marketing ploy?
Let’s take a closer look.
One of the main arguments in favor of the 4 day work week is that it allows employees to have more time to rest and recharge. This, in turn, leads to them being more productive when they are working. There’s certainly some truth to this. Numerous studies have shown that workers who have more time to rest are indeed more productive.
However, it’s important to note that the 4 day work week isn’t a magic bullet. It’s not going to suddenly make everyone twice as productive. At best, it might lead to a small increase in productivity. But even that is far from guaranteed.
So if you’re considering switching to a 4 day work week, don’t do it expecting miracles. It might help your productivity a little bit, but don’t expect it to completely change your life.
Shorter work weeks have been shown to lead to higher levels of productivity. In one study, employees who worked four days per week were found to be 20% more productive than those who worked five days per week.
A shorter work week can also lead to increased job satisfaction and a better work-life balance. This can lead to improved mental health, as well as decreased stress levels.
The four-day work week can actually lead to longer hours for some employees. In order to make up for the lost day, many people end up working longer hours on the days that they do work.
A shorter work week can also be disruptive to businesses and their operations. It can be difficult to coordinate schedules and make sure that all employees are available when needed.
There are pros and cons to the 4 day work week. On the one hand, having an extra day off each week can lead to more rest and relaxation, which can, in turn, lead to more focus and productivity when working. On the other hand, some employers may see the 4 day work week as a way to cut costs by reducing hours, which could lead to less pay and fewer benefits for employees.
Ultimately, it is up to each individual employer and employee to decide whether the 4 day work week is right for them. Some may find that it increases productivity, while others may find that it decreases motivation. What is important is to experiment and find what works best for you and your company. If you are considering instituting a 4-day work week, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, make sure that all employees are on board with the change. If there is resistance, it will be difficult to make the switch successfully. Second, consider how you will structure the work week. Will employees work 4 ten-hour days, or will they have a three-day weekend? There are pros and cons to both approaches, so it is important to decide what will work best for your company.
Finally, be prepared to adjust as needed. The 4 day work week is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and what works for one company may not work for another. Be flexible and be willing to make changes as necessary to ensure that the switch to a 4 day work week is successful.
Real Estate Consultant, Florida Cash Home Buyers
There is no single right answer to this question because it depends on your organization and personnel. If you have the right team in place then a 4-day workweek can absolutely lead to enhanced productivity and happier employees. But, if you don’t have the right team in place then making the switch can give people a green light to slack off. It essentially depends on whether you have professional, mature employees that can manage themselves. If this isn’t the case then you might want to reassess. For this reason, it makes no sense to simply follow the crowd. Instead, you need to do a deep and honest examination of your organization to ensure that it would be a good fit.
CEO and Co-founder, Live Lingua
“I think that implementing a 4-day work week could be very valuable for a company. The top pro of a 4-day work week is a better work-life balance for both employers and employees, which can lead to a boost in morale — the morale boost can lead to greater productivity and work output. In my opinion, both employers and employees need more than two days a week to relax, de-stress from their work tasks, take care of errands and personal appointments, and enjoy engaging in leisurely activities. Working five days in a row without a lot of downtimes can cause stress, anxiety, and a drop in morale. On top of this, having three days off will give employers and employees the chance to travel and take more weekend trips — these trips can help inspire new ideas for business initiatives, strategies to pursue, and more.
One con of a 4-day workweek is that it could take a lot of operational re-structuring to ensure that all weekly projects and tasks are completed in 4 days rather than 5. Another con is that one of your clients may need help with something on a day your enterprise is no longer open for business, which can cause them frustration.
A 4-day work week is a relatively new concept, due to the pandemic and due to recent advancements in technology. For our company, we started introducing the 4-day work week with a few of our teams. We started the trial for a month to see how it will affect our employees and production.
CEO and Founder, Trusted Gifts
After a month of trial, we noticed improvement with the teams that are on the 4 days work week. Not only did they maintain the same productivity level, but they also showed improvements in job satisfaction, teamwork, work/life balance, and company loyalty. We had less issues when it comes to attendance and productivity.
On top of that, it somehow helped reduce our business because we were able to reduce total perk packages by making some adjustments to our compensation. However, with all the benefits it presented to us, there were also a few disadvantages. It appears that the 4 day work week is not for everyone as some required more attention and productivity adjustment. We had to figure out which day to take off so that our productivity would not suffer.
So is this a gimmick? It all depends on how you see it and how your company sees it. Additionally, Japan and Spain have already started advocating for the 4 day work week and they saw productivity climb by 40%. While it is not built for every company, if you are considering the 4 day work week schedule for your company, we highly recommend that you have to have a concrete plan and a backup plan so you’ll be prepared for the challenges it will present. Consider how you’ll adjust your workflows and expectations so your employees can make the most of their time.
The 4-day work week has its potential especially if planned well. It is becoming increasingly popular as companies strive to find unique ways to support their employees’ mental health and happiness. Only time can tell if this program will succeed.
Managing Attorney, Douglas R. Beam, P.A.
It works but not every industry can participate. While there’s no doubt that a 4-day work week does indeed stimulate productivity, it is also true that it isn’t really an option for every organization in every industry. And when every stakeholder in an industry is unable to participate, there is bound to be some kind of adverse impact that cannot be neglected. For example, if a 4-day work week kicks in for one organization, the associated service providers will miss an entire day in their schedule. This, in turn, may impact the margins of these companies and leave their employees with less work hours. Under these circumstances, even an increase in productivity cannot be termed a healthy move, especially when the move has a negative effect on others. Until every organization and industry is able to adopt a 4-day work week, the move will be no more than a passing trend.
4-Day Workweek: Our Conclusion
Rishi Rais – Dignitas Digital
It’s not as simple as it sounds!
- Work does not suck – The very point that comes across with the 4-day workweek (and gradual reduction in the number of hours per week since the past century) is that work sucks hence the faster we are able to get done with the minimum number of hours the better. For a lot of people, work is actually their life, they genuinely enjoy working. There is no fixed definition of a work-life balance and this so-called balance could be different for different people. Not everyone dreads going back to work on a Sunday evening, some of them look forward to it.
- Fun times at Tech – These kinds of demands from employees usually come when there is a lot of liquidity in the market, the job market is extremely hot and the overall market is doing well. Well, these are cycles, and in this case more of a bubbly. With job cuts, higher interest rates, super high inflation, and a highly probably recession, things will come back in line sooner than later.
- Different demographics, different cultures – Something that works in the west, does not necessarily mean that it will work in the rest of the world. The efficiencies are different, outputs are different, and expectations are different. Comparing the output of an Apple Employee based out of California with a programmer based out in the Philippines, the results will speak for themselves. Hence aping the western work culture blindly will hurt you in both the long and short term.
- Every industry is different – Just because the tech industry said this does not mean it will work for every industry. It’s plain simple demand and supply. This hypocrisy of the tech industry workers needs to stop.
- What do you need the extra day for? – Schools, colleges, government offices, courts, etc. will all be open. There goes your time to be spent with your family. In fact, your Monday blues will become Monday super blues.
- Commute is not as bad as you think – There is a lot of debate around the fact that hours will be saved, there will be less carbon emissions, less frustrations, etc. There are people who actually use their commute time really well. They spend time reading, catching up with friends/socializing, spending some “me” time, interacting with people (in some case strangers), and gathering experiences. Some people commute in groups for decades and make really good relationships/friendships. Not sure why forcing people to live inside a bubble is becoming in vogue.
- Welcome dullness and maybe a big belly – 3-day weekend? Taking kids out to the beach or the hills, going for some cycling or camping. How many times will you do it? (though I have already mentioned above that schools/colleges will not be shifting to a 4-day workweek anyway). You will end up binge-watching some series on Netflix and spending a lot of hours on the couch in the long run.
In a nutshell, this fad around the 4-day work week needs to end. The market sometimes does favor certain industries and that is what happened during the Covid outbreak, where all tech companies transitioned into the remote model, and the rest were forced to adopt these or perish. With Covid hopefully in the endemic stage, offices reopening and the economy going through a rough cycle, these kinds of thoughts should take a back seat and sense prevail.
Dhawal Sehgal – Dignitas Digital
I agree with Rishi about the fact that it is not as simple as it sounds. I have friends in tech and other professions who have a 4-day work week. But in all those cases the 4 days are 10-hour workdays, and these professionals end up working 10 hours a day.
The idea of a 4-day work week is also more popular in Europe and is gaining popularity in the Americas, however, on the eastern side of the world, people are still used to working 5 or even 6 days a week.
This is not a one-size-fits-all proposition but a case-by-case scenario. In my opinion, the best way to prove if something works or not is to experiment it and measure the outcomes. If a 4-day work week results in better productivity numbers and a boosted employee morale, than I say the idea is a hit. If the productivity and efficiency numbers decline, it does not make sense.
In theory, a 4-day work week sounds appealing to most people but in practicality, it may not be the best for all businesses.
In my opinion, an employer should be open to being flexible. Because if an employee can achieve what is expected of them in 4 days vs. 5, they deserve the extra day off. On the other hand, if it takes another employee to do the same task in 6 days, they need to work harder.
I have been an advocate of the importance of work-life balance and if working for 4 days improves your output significantly, it just makes sense to implement it. I used to work for an employer who worked half days on Fridays in the summer, provided that all client deadlines were met. I remember that there were 0 missed deadlines by noon on Fridays in the summer. What does that tell you?
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