The four-day work week has been discussed for years, but may finally be taking hold in some companies. Several UK companies recently launched a trial program for the shortened work week. The results have been largely positive, showing that workers are both more satisfied with their work life balance and more productive at work.
With the possibility of other companies around the globe giving the four-day workweek a try, I’m diving into an online discussion from a few years ago where people expressed their thoughts on the change. Opinions varied, especially on what the four-day workweek might actually look like and what its benefits would be.
1. Love Four 10-Hour Days
Some people already have experience with the four-day workweek and can speak directly to its benefits. One user said, “My company switched to 4 10-hour days.” They said they and their coworkers have been working this way for over two years, and “we all love it. It is so nice to have a three-day weekend every week.”
Another user had also switched over from five 8-hour days to four 10-hour days and said, “the difference between an 8-hour day or a 10-hour day isn’t really perceptible.”
2. 10-Hour Days Are Counterproductive
While some people expressed how much they enjoyed working four 10-hour days, others questioned the benefits of this kind of change. One commenter said switching to 10-hour days is “a terrible plan from the perspective of societal benefit.” They argued “productivity is not steady across an 8-hour day.
Most people can do, in a 6-hour day, the same level of productivity they could in an 8.” Another respondent agreed, stating that a “10-hour day would just mean an extra couple of hours of unproductive boredom.”
And contrary to the user who said the difference was imperceptible, one person said “working a 9 hour (or 10 hour…) day really sucks.”
3. 32-Hour Week Is Ideal
The debate about 10-hour days led several to point out that there is no need to extend hours worked per-day to shorten the workweek to four days. One respondent who has been working 32 hours for over a year stated, “We don’t need 40 hours,” highlighting that “I mess around basically 100% less at work now.
All of our productivity has gone up, we’re happier, people can spend more time with their kids and families.” Others noted that this shouldn’t even really make a difference in productivity due to “efficiency gains from modern tech.”
4. Eliminate Required Hours Altogether
While others debated what required hour structure would work best, one user stated, “I think we should go further and eliminate required work hours for certain jobs altogether.”
They argued, “When you hire me, you should pay me X amount of dollars for Y amount of work. Whether it takes me 12 hours a week or 54 hours a week to get it done, my salary X never changes.
5. Appointments Are So Much Easier
That same respondent said that their four-day workweek has made it easier for them to schedule appointments without needing to take time off from work.
Another commenter whose employer hasn’t adopted the four-day work week entirely but offers employees every other Friday off, said, “It’s really helpful to have those Fridays to schedule appointments.”
6. Saves Paid Time Off
The user who gets every other Friday off also noted that those days off make them “have less desire to burn PTO throughout the year just to take a much-needed Friday off.”
Someone else who was attempting to convince coworkers to accept four 10-hour days during summer months noted that the extra full day off would save “PTO/Sick/Comp time by not using those days to get an extended weekend. That’s even MORE money saved and MORE time off.”
7. Shorter Work Week Helps Mental Health
One user who suffers from depression said that “Working a five-day work week just makes life seem so much more pointless. By the time I get the other things I need to do (grocery shopping, appointments, etc.) done, it’s [sic] Sunday night.”
A teacher who has been working four day weeks every other week for some time said that the change has “been amazing for my mental health.”
And one user connected the earlier point about appointments to mental health, saying that since switching to the four-day work week, “I’ve been able to schedule weekly therapy and work on my emotional and mental health.”
8. More Time for Home Projects
One respondent loved the idea of a shorter work week, seemingly unconcerned whether that meant extending the four days worked to ten hours or not.
They said, “I would have around 50 extra days a year to do all the yard work and home projects that I don’t want to spend all weekend doing.”
9. Could Cause Future Problems
While most people agreed that there would be benefits, some disagreed. One user, in particular, was concerned that “We would get used to it and take it for granted like we do the current 5 day work week. Eventually, the benefits would go down and companies will have to start doing things like lowering wages or increasing hours to stay productive.”
10. What About The Children?
Several respondents wondered what this would mean for children. Some users who were working four-day weeks noted that they and their colleagues now had “longer weekends with their kids.”
Others expressed curiosity about whether schools should switch to four-day weeks if work does, but one parent said, “I’d actually rather have a day of chores so that I could actually focus on my kids during the weekend 100%.
To be able to zip around and run errands without the kids in tow would be such a productivity boost that all of the time I do have with my kids would just be that much more stress-free, focused on them.”
This article was brought to you by this thread.
Original post on The Female Professional.