Why are 4-day workweeks making headlines again? Because they work

Eliza Anderson, Deseret News
Eliza Anderson, Deseret News

Four-day workweeks have been making headlines throughout 2023 by many news outlets.

Though the subject has been in the topic of conversation throughout the year, the question still remains, do four-day workweeks actually work?

Some companies report that yes, the four-day workweek does in fact work.


Would a four-day workweek work?

In an four-day workweek trial that consisted of “2,900 workers from 61 companies in the U.K.” from June to December 2022 the experiment showed that, “the four-day workweek significantly increased job satisfaction, improved work-life balance, and reduced employee stress.”

These findings along with testimonials have influenced Massachusetts lawmakers to consider a four-day workweek pilot program, according to Fox Business.

“There’s clear evidence that the model of a 32-hour week with 40 hours pay works for both employees and businesses,” economist and Boston College professor Juliet Schor said. “In these very high turnover businesses like restaurants ... these companies find their employees stop quitting.”

A few companies reportedly working with a four-day workweek model already are:

  • Awin.

  • Bit.io.

  • Buffer.

  • DNSFilter.

  • Elephant Ventures.

  • GooseChase.

  • Justuno.

  • Kickstarter.

  • Monograph.

  • Panasonic.

  • thredUp.

MIT Sloan Management Review reported that, “although the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of a four-day workweek, the reality is that not all industries are currently able to make the switch.”

The Wall Street Journal interviewed the online clothing reseller, ThredUp’s chief people officer Natalie Breece who said that there is a lot of work behind accomplishing a four-day workweek.

“It’s not for everybody,” Breece said. “It requires constant evaluation of your own behaviors and your organization’s behaviors to move faster.”


Does a four-day workweek save money?

Jefferson Bank reported that some corporations and businesses have discovered that a four-day workweek schedule can save a company on various expenses.

When a company provides a four-day workweek, business owners could “potentially adjust the pay each week,” as some employees may find themselves worker fewer hours during a week.

However, four-day workweeks don’t always mean that workers will be paid less.

HR Cloud explained that as a company shifts to a four-day workweek, office expenses such as electricity may reduce while “printers, scanners and copiers will depreciate slower” from less wear and tear.