Who doesn’t love a three-day weekend? For many, the thought of this perk every weekend is hard to resist, and I’ve recently heard about it a lot more in my work with digital marketing candidates and hiring managers.
There are plenty of circumstances where defending a 5-day schedule is getting more difficult, like roles that are based purely on output and not hours worked, but in many cases, the 5-day work week is still seen as the gold standard. But then again, nobody thought remote work was the future in December of 2019, right?
Before reading any further, ask yourself: where do you stand on the four-day work week, and what pros and cons can you think of for your business model?
The Pros of a Four-Day Work Week
Simply put, the biggest benefit of a four-day work week is the resulting three-day weekend and all that comes with it. Who can deny the allure of an extra day to rest, relax, and recharge? For many people, this is the primary selling point. And it makes sense: an extra day off allows for travel, taking on bigger non-work projects, and most importantly, time to focus on personal life. Work-life balance is the name of the game these days.
Evidence suggests that employees who work fewer hours are actually more productive during those hours. In addition, workers may feel less inclined to take time off during the week if they know that doing so will mean an entire day away from the office. Employers may see less need for paid time off and sick days.
Finally, an improved work-life balance for employees often leads to greater job satisfaction and engagement. This, in turn, could lead to increased productivity and creativity, as well as lower burnout and turnover rates.
The Cons of a Four-Day Work Week
It isn’t all upside, though.
For one thing, a four-day work week may not be feasible for all businesses. For example, companies that work with manufacturing or production partners who run on a five-day work week might simply not have the option.
In addition, shorter work weeks may not be possible for businesses that need to maintain a certain level of staffing to function. For example, a hospital or other 24-hour operation would not be able to reduce its hours without compromising the quality of care it can provide.
Finally, some employees may prefer the structure and consistency of a five-day work week. They may find that they are more productive when they have set hours, or that they need the extra day to complete all of their tasks. In addition, employees with families may prefer the predictability of a five-day work week, as it makes childcare and other arrangements easier to manage.
The Bottom Line
This may come as a real shocker, but there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It ultimately depends on a variety of factors, including the type of business you have, the nature of the work you do, and the needs of your customers and employees. That said, it is important to carefully consider the pros and cons of a four-day work week before making any decisions; doing so will help you to determine whether or not it is the right move for your business.
HR pros: do you, or anyone in your network, operate on a four-day work week? What upsides have you seen? What negatives have you noticed? Do you think this is the future of work?
Digital marketing candidates: Do you think the four-day workweek will become a non-negotiable someday? Where do you stand on this arrangement?