4 comes after 5: shortening the workweek is logical and long overdue

Despite workers' constant calls for a change to be made to the current system and rules that define a full time job as an occupation that involves 40 hours of work, the Monday-Friday workweek remains intact. Clearly, times have changed since the initial 40 hour work week was devised. Workforce efficiency has improved by over 59.7% since 1979, and yet wages have only increased by 15.8%. If workers are producing more, isn’t it only fair they get compensated for the increases in productivity?



At the very least could the average worker not have to work as many days for the same or less amount of compensation?



Recent studies conducted in Iceland have shown that 4 day work weeks with no increase in hours for the remaining 4 days (aka a 32 hour work week) showed no decline in productivity and increases in worker happiness and satisfaction. Researchers concluded that the increases/net neutral gains in productivity were likely due to lower levels of stress and greater work life balance. So please, if not for your worker’s sake, do it for your company’s bottom line.



Admittedly, the shortened work week may need a bit longer of a trial run before it can definitively be considered more efficient for the company, and skeptics of the 4 day work week may question the sustainability of the increase in efficiency, even just in Iceland. All that said, undertaking the switch to 4 days will make any company appear progressive and worker-centric, and at the very least, it's worth giving it a try.


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