The future of work is changing, and the four-day work week may be next. There are a number of benefits to having a shorter work week, including more time for family, more time for leisure, and less burnout. But does the four-day work week have its moment arrived? Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons.
For the next several months, at least, the four-day workweek has become a reality for dozens of businesses across the United States and Canada. The trial began in April and is scheduled to continue for six months. Kickstarter, as well as a number of technology firms, are among the participants in this program that is being led by 4 Day Week Global.
The objective is for employees to work 80% of the time for 100% of the pay while maintaining 100% productivity. It’s all about operating more efficiently, including eliminating non-essential meetings.
What exactly is a four-day work week, and what are its advantages and drawbacks?
Here’s a closer look.
A four-day work week typically means working Monday to Thursday, or Tuesday to Friday. This leaves employees with a three-day weekend, which can be used for leisure, errands, or catching up on sleep.
There are a number of advantages to having a shorter work week. First, it can lead to increased productivity. When workers have more time to rest and recharge, they’re able to come back to work feeling refreshed and ready to tackle their tasks.
Second, a four-day work week can help reduce burnout. With less time spent at the office, employees are less likely to feel overwhelmed by their workloads. And when they do have to work, they can approach their tasks with fresh energy and ideas.
Third, a shorter work week can give employees more time to pursue their interests outside of work. With an extra day off, they can explore hobbies, spend time with family and friends, or simply relax and recharge.
Fourth, a four-day work week can have a positive impact on the environment. When employees work fewer days, they’re likely to use less energy and resources. This can lead to reduced greenhouse gas emissions and a smaller ecological footprint.
So what are the drawbacks of a four-day work week? First, it can be difficult to adjust to a new schedule. Employees may find that they miss the social interaction and structure of a five-day work week.
Second, some businesses may struggle to maintain their operations with fewer days open. This can lead to longer hours for employees who are working, as well as disruptions in customer service.
Third, a four-day work week may not be feasible for all businesses or employees. Some jobs simply cannot be done in four days, and some employees may not be able to manage their workloads and improve employer engagement on a shorter schedule.
Is it now the right time to promote a global four-day work week?
With the COVID-19 pandemic reigniting debate about the four-day workweek, employees and employers are reconsidering the importance of workplace flexibility and benefits.
Europe’s trade unions are demanding that national governments implement the four-day work week, with several nations have already embraced it.
Belgium is one of the latest nations to put in place an employee empowerment plan, giving staff the right to a four-day workweek.
Besides Belgium, there is also Scotland, Spain, Japan, Iceland, and The United Arab Emirates piloting a four-day work week.
All of these pilot projects, with their sensational outcomes, suggest that now may be the best time to implement a global four-day work week.