Four-day workweek

More and more people are talking about the four-day workweek and it has become a huge topic. Large corporations such as Microsoft in Japan, Amazon and Google have tried out the four-day workweek to improve work-life balance for their employees. For Microsoft this resulted in 40% higher productivity among employees.

There are a few different models to the four-day workweek. Some consist of cramming 40 hours of work into four 10-hour days. Others reduce the workweek to 32 hours, on the principle that the workers will be more focused on the work at hand and not on other activities if there is a shorter time span.

Pros

Having another day with no work or commute can free up personal time to pursue leisure activities and family togetherness.

Depending on which model you use, it could also give the employees’ time to relax and recover from hard work. That might also lead to a reduced number of burnt-out employees.

Cons

According to Laura Vanderkam, a shorter workweek might lead to less time for opportunities that could advance the employees career development.

Vanderkam says, for example, that a person working only four days per week may decide not to have lunch with a colleague or client that could have led to an important project in the future because he or she didn’t have expendable time to do so.

Another consequence could be that when you are at work you might be so focused on getting your things done that you forget to interact with your colleagues, and therefore feel unhappy and stressed out.  

In conclusion, this idea has both pros and cons and studies can’t tell us yet if it’s something to pursue. Is this something your company is talking about or have already done?

Malin

Stockholm 2020-02-18

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