The four-day work week has become a trend in most countries. London in the U.K., Berlin in Germany, and even Washington, D.C. in the U.S. have already implemented this system. According to statistics, in the past three decades, at least 25 countries around the world have implemented a four-day work week, and the annual economic growth rate of these countries has exceeded 2%. A four-day workweek has also been implemented in developing countries such as China and India. The idea of a 4 day work week first emerged in the U.K. and the U.S. when both countries considered introducing the practice. However, this approach has been opposed by many countries, and this is different from what they want to implement. These days, the four-day workweek is more of a trend. The four-day work week has become an option after implementing the "flexible working system" in various countries, including France, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Pros of a 4 Day Work Week
1. Increased Productivity
In a study conducted by Sanford University, productivity was correlated with hours worked. Researchers discovered that people with overworking schedules are less productive than those with regular work schedules.
According to a New Zealand-based Perpetual Guardian study, workers can work four days per week. As well as maintaining the same level of productivity, employees showed improvements in their job satisfaction, teamwork, and work/life balance.
2. Cost Saving
With the one workday shortened, the usage of the company's facilities and utilities are being lowered, and it saves a high cost for businesses on basic expenses. Also, employees' travelling costs are also reduced due to the one less day for travelling to work.
Gallup polled over 10,000 workers in 2020 and found that employees who worked a four-day week suffered the lowest levels of job burnout. The survey shows 63% of employees who work a 4-day workweek reported thriving wellbeing.
4. More Flexibility
By far, the most important benefits for employees are the flexibility and work-life balance provided by a four-day work week. Employees can negotiate with their employers on which 4 days they wish to work to match their lifestyle and social life.
Cons of a 4 Day Work Week
1. Schedule Conflicts
Compressing the workweek can be challenging when you need to help customers or other team members. As a result, it can be difficult to locate adequate coverage during working hours. It may also be difficult to manage client needs due to internal scheduling issues. Additionally, brainstorming sessions may need more input when employees are on vacation. An organization's frequency of these events may affect whether it can sustain a 4-day work week.
In some industries, a 4 day work week may not be suitable such as customer services. As this industry would require an employee to attend most of the time, if a customer needs help, then employees can solve the problem. With the 4 day work week, businesses would need to hire more employees to fill in the gaps.
2. Wrong Approach
There has been a misconception that compressed hours are the same as a four-day work week. Work-life balance, employee engagement, and overall happiness are all affected when employees are expected to work 35 hours over four days. It is recommended to work 4 days a week, consisting of a regular 7-hour day, to achieve the desired effects.
3. Additional Stress
Extra days off may seem like additional relaxation days for employees, but it increases their stress during their working hours because they may still have the same workload to complete when they have 5 day week and 4 day week. Therefore, shortening the work day may give the employees additional stress at work.
4. More work for others
4 day work week may benefit the employees, but it creates more workload for supervisors. Such as meeting scheduling with the clients, shift rota and other workloads. Therefore, businesses may need to consider deeply whether to inbound the 4 day work week for their companies.