Pros and Cons of a Four-Day Workweek

Photo by Monica Sauro on Unsplash

You have probably already heard the news about a so-called “Four-Day Workweek.” But, if you haven’t you might want to take a look at our previous post where we explain what a four-day workweek is.

While some professionals are saying that the four-day workweek may soon be a reality, some others are still not so sure about it. Either way, here we have a list of pros and cons that could help you decide if you want your company to jump into the rising trend or not.

Pros of a four-day workweek

  • Increased productivity. Several studies have shown that overworked and tired employees are less productive than those who work on average 25-30 hours per week. Companies like Perpetual Guardian in New Zealand and Microsoft in Japan have experienced more productivity while implementing a four-day workweek. In fact, the world’s most productive countries, like Norway, Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands, on average work 27 hours a week.
  • Efficient use of time. With a four-day workweek, employees are more likely to engage with wasteful tasks such as long meetings, social media or long and excessive breaks.
  • Workers satisfaction. Working fewer hours has been shown to have a positive impact on reducing stress levels and a greater work-life balance for employees; as a result, you will have happier employees. Happy employees will engage better with their work and most likely they will also be more motivated and creative.
  • Lower unemployment rates. Some companies might not be able to operate efficiently if their employees are working only 80% of the time. In this case, companies can fill open hours with new employees. However, this “benefit”, doesn’t account for salaries.
  • Smaller carbon footprint. Having a four-day workweek means that your employees don’t need to commute as much, and this would reduce commute pollution. At the same time, large office buildings are in use only four days a week, reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Lower overhead costs.  If your employees are working only four days a week, that would reduce all office costs and maintenance fees by 20%.

Cons of a Four-Day Workweek

  • Expensive risk. The greatest drawback for companies is the risk that workers fail to meet their work requirements. Some jobs just take time. It might result in employees working the same number of hours while getting extra pay for 20% of them. This might be beneficial for the employee, but certainly not cost-efficient for the company.
  • Not suitable for all industries. Some industries require a 24/7 presence. As it was mentioned before, this could lower unemployment rates but would increment salary cost.
  • Customer satisfaction. In some cases, customer support relies on office-based staff; if employees are having a third day off it means an additional day where customers won’t be able to access support.

If the working world keeps its track, the four-day workweek might soon be a reality. In the meantime, after reviewing these pros and cons, you might consider testing it out at your company. Find out if the four-day workweek is suitable for you.

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