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Is a 4-Day Work Week The Future? What This Could Mean For Professional and Personal Life

Updated: Jun 11

How many days a week do you go to work? Many traditional job schedules in the United States and other places worldwide follow a five-day work week. However, considerable workplace changes have occurred in the last two years.

Scheduling and location are some of the most significant shifts in people's jobs. For example, with more people working from home recently, nearly a quarter of organizations have implemented a four-day work week for employees. Learning more about this scheduling structure can be beneficial if you are an employee or an employer.

Pros of the 4-Day Work Week

According to organizational research based on employees' opinions, one of the biggest pros of implementing a four-day work week is having more flexibility. With traditional schedules, it has been historically challenging for many people to organize all their home-related tasks into two days off. An extra day off allows employees to slow down and focus on their personal lives.

With a four-day week, there are multiple other possible benefits for employees and employers. For example, many employees report improved work-life balance, less stress, increased productivity, and more happiness. For businesses, there are potential financial benefits. As it turns out, having fewer people at work can reduce overhead and other costs.

Cons of the 4-Day Work Week

Although there are plenty of possible pros of implementing four-day work weeks, there are also some downsides. With stress, for example, individuals have various experiences. While many employees report experiencing less stress, others have reported having more stress due to the inability to separate work and home life, especially if the schedule involves telecommuting from where they live. In addition, some employees have had concerns about fitting all the work they need to do into four days.

With most workplace changes, stress can occur. Outside of work, this is the case for all kinds of life changes. However, the change-induced stress of working a four-day schedule can also decrease after an employee adjusts with time, but this is not true for everyone. It can be enlightening for managers to seek input from employees to see how their work feels about such a change.

What Execs Think of a 4-Day Work Week

According to a study by Eagle Hill Consulting, many company executives at places that have implemented the reduced schedule report satisfaction at best and acceptance at worst. For example, one exec in the study shared that the scheduling change was just a fact of modern reality.

When reflecting on the benefits they have witnessed, the exec reports had some similarities with what employees have reported in other research. For upsides, they listed increased productivity that results in additional personal flexibility that employees experience. On the downside, there can also be more stress regarding administrative work and trying to fit the same amount of work into a shorter or revised time frame.

4-Day Work Week Outlined

They can vary if you are wondering what four-day work week jobs look like in action. Some places have reduced meeting requirements or a shift in responsibilities for Fridays. Some organizations find ways to fit 40 hours of work into 32-hour weeks, while other businesses prefer spacing out the original 40 hours into four 10-hour work shifts.

Telecommuting has also become popular in recent years. For the four-day work week, some places have implemented a hybrid component to the reduced number of days.

How do you think having a four-day schedule at your job would go? Use this article to help you consider how it might look.



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