Updated: Nov 8, 2021
Three-day weekends and shorter workweeks have always seemed to put a pep in employees’ steps, however, they are a rarity in the cookie cutter corporate culture. The pandemic has proven other seemingly impossible practices like, working from home or hybrid-models, to be possible and effective. Now, people have begun a new proposition: the four day workweek.
While this new proposition may seem far-fetched, there are more benefits than we may think. Studies have shown that fewer working hours have a significant advantage on staff’s wellbeing. Employees are well-rested, feel less stress and negativity, and experience an enhanced sense of a work-life balance. A four-day workweek would boost workers’ physical wellbeing and prevent mental illnesses, like depression, which would lead to a more satisfied and effective workforce.
Mental health is critical to an employee's overall happiness, but the real question companies will ask is if these shorter workweeks have any obvious effect on the business’ overall success. The answer to this question is yes, most companies will see an increase in productivity and a decrease in employer costs. Research backs this saying, after thirty-five hours per week, or six hours per day, productivity is proven to dramatically decline. People tend to get more done and be more productive when they work fewer hours. The reduction in hours will also lower employer costs, because on average, employees that work thirty-five hours or less take forty fewer days off. With this employers will lose much less money to workers staying home.
With increased productivity, health, and wellbeing, firms will see an increase in their bottomline. Employee happiness will increase along with their productivity, all while employer costs decrease. Although there would be significant changes to be made for the four-day workweek to gain traction, these findings will hopefully be the catalyst for these changes to begin.