The Biggest Pros and Cons of a Four-Day Work Week

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The workplace of today is evolving. Workers who once dressed in business casual attire for commuting to an office building now work from the comfort of their homes. Some go even further and fully embrace the nomadic lifestyle.

So to entice today’s workers, many companies are introducing cutting-edge, all-encompassing benefit packages that place a premium on their mental health and well-being.

If you’re considering doing this for your employees, thinking about the pros and cons of a four-day work week is an excellent place to start. Despite its relative novelty, this approach is widely believed by business leaders to be the wave of the future.

What are the pros and cons of a four-day work week?

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It was considered revolutionary in 1926 when Henry Ford instituted a five-day work week and gave his employees Saturdays off. He went out of his way, didn’t he? And not long after that, in 1932, the five-day workweek became law in the US. But is the four-day workweek the next big thing in business, a century after Ford’s “radical” 1 idea?

Caption: Before deciding to give it a try, it’s important to thoroughly consider the pros and cons of a four-day work week.

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Businesses of varying sizes around the world have been experimenting with four-day work weeks. In some companies, the workweek is cut in half, but employees are still expected to put in eight-hour days for a total of 32 hours. But some businesses make their workers put in 40 hours a week, working 10 hours a day Monday through Thursday.

Switching to this work dynamic can be beneficial for both your company and your employees. However, before you decide this is suitable for your business, it’s essential to consider different factors thoughtfully. To help you make the best decision, here are the pros and cons of a four-day work week.

Pro: Happier employees

We really can’t think of a better employee appreciation idea than giving them more flexibility and a better work-life balance. When workers are given a day off on the weekend, they tend to be more content. Workers are able to spend less time at the office, which helps prevent burnout, and more time doing the activities that bring them joy or are necessities.

As a result of having more time on their hands, employees are better able to focus on their well-being both in and out of the workplace. Many companies that tried out the four-day week schedule advised that their employees are happier now.

Basically, you’re allowing them to balance their personal and professional lives by giving them extra time on the weekends to relax and catch up on things they enjoy.

Con: Potential scheduling issues

It’s more challenging to arrange last-minute meetings or group projects when one day of the workweek is unavailable. Check-ins and one-on-one meetings can be pretty hard to organize without keeping personnel late. It won’t be easy to find time for staff training, brainstorming sessions, and other essential meetings while expecting them to complete their work promptly.

Pro: Lower expenses for your business

A four-day workweek can save expenses for businesses, especially if they aren’t already totally remote. You can save money on supplies and utilities by closing the office for an extra day each week. This will give you an opportunity to save money and further optimize your office space and invest in creating a more efficient working atmosphere.

Person holding an iPhone with a calculator app opened on it
One of the biggest benefits of switching to a four-day work week is that your company can save a significant amount of money.

Therefore, a four-day workweek can significantly benefit your company’s budget. It’s not uncommon for office bills, staff benefits, commuter advantages, and competitive pay to mount up to a large sum. Removing that one day a week can help offset some expenses.

Con: Potential for burnout

Keeping up with client wants, and needs is crucial, and how much you have to adapt depends on your business model and product. A four-day workweek can increase pressure in those situations. Taking a day off of the workweek would cause stress and burnout since workers would have less time to complete their tasks.

Therefore, before you do anything rash, you must consider the effects of a four-day workweek. Your team members might have to work long hours to keep up with client expectations. So, there is a concern such long workdays would throw them off balance for the rest of the week. And that will result in exhaustion and burnout.

Pro: Productivity boost

Employees whose employers have instituted four-day workweeks report higher motivation and improved time management. This indicates that even if workers put in fewer hours overall, they make the most of their time in the office.

Many companies that tried this concept out advised that more downtime results in higher productivity. Having only four days to fulfill weekly deliverables can force teams to be more efficient with their time. That will allow them to produce work of the same or even higher quality; when people are well rested at the start of the week, their enthusiasm for their jobs increases.

Con: It’s not suitable for all types of businesses

For some businesses, it’s impossible to switch to a 4-day workweek. For companies that sell perishable goods or provide time-sensitive services, for example, it’s impossible to have the entire operation shut down for a day. Those companies would be unable to compete with the shorter workweeks offered by companies in other industries.

Green tractor on a field pulling a car filled with pumpkins
Companies that handle fresh produce are a good example of businesses that can’t benefit from a four-day work week.

Also, keep in mind that not all workers will welcome a four-day workweek, even if their company switches to that schedule. Some employees might even be hesitant to participate in this type of program, especially if it means working longer hours in exchange for a day off on Friday. This could seriously mess with their everyday lives and family commitments.

The Bottom Line

We hope that our list of pros and cons of a four-day work week helps you decide what is the best direction when it comes to your company. Whichever path you choose, we wish you the best of luck and a lot of success.

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Author Bio:

Roy ScottRoy Scott is a single day from Georgia currently working as a content manager at Safari Movers Atlanta. His biggest passion is carpentry, and he is planning on turning it into a full-time career in the future. In his spare time, he loves taking his son fishing.

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