The four-day workweek has been creeping into the American consciousness for a while now. While some believe it is a panacea for reducing stress and improving productivity, other studies show it can actually reduce productivity. According to The New York Times, it seems as though this shorter workweek is catching on in the United States. But what’s behind this recent trend, and is it really something we should be celebrating? Let’s take a look.
What is the 4-day trend all about?
The 4-day workweek is an arrangement where employees work four, eight-hour days instead of the traditional five. This has become a popular option in recent years as people are looking to find more work/life balance.
But is it really effective? There are both pros and cons to the 4-day work week.
Pros and Cons of a 4-day work week
On the pro side, employees generally get to spend more time with their families or outside of work. They also have more time for things like errands, exercise, and relaxation.
The New York Times article cites a study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management that claims 43 percent of American companies now offer some form of a four-day week. There are many reasons given for why this perk is being offered more often, the major one being the rising energy costs. In addition, technology improvements have helped reduce the need for employees to be physically present in the office.
While four-day weeks are becoming more popular, they are not without their challenges. In fact, one study found that workers who reduced their hours to four days were actually less productive than those who worked five days a week.
One common concern is that employees will take advantage of the perk and work fewer hours overall. Others worry that a shortened workweek will not be productive enough, particularly if employees take longer time off. Additionally, some employees may feel that they are not being given enough hours or may feel overworked.
That said, there are some benefits to working fewer hours. For one, it can help reduce burnout. If you’re able to adjust your schedule successfully, you may find that you have more time for other pursuits outside of work.
The trend may pick up
While four-day workweeks are becoming more popular, there are some companies that still don’t offer them. One such company, Datto, Inc., decided not to switch to a four-day workweek even though its employees wanted it. According to the company’s CEO, Austin McChord, having the fifth workday helps boost productivity.
Despite these concerns, four-day weeks may be a trend that is here to stay. With more and more companies offering this perk, it is likely that more employees will start to demand it.
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to offer a four-day workweek is a personal one that depends on the specific needs and goals of the company. The need to attract and retain top talent and a desire to reduce employee stress are big motivators for the four-day workweek.