Should There Be a 4-day Work Week?

The possible change of the work week. Photo courtesy of Dzmitry at

Priya Samuel, Staff Writer

Many debates have been made on whether or not the shortening of the work week for schools and work environments would be more beneficial than the 5-day work week. The typical work schedule for a full-time worker is the Monday through Friday, nine-to-five schedule. This delivers a standard 40-hour workweek for employees to accomplish tasks in a reasonable amount of time. Despite this, there are many employees and even school students that have wanted a shorter work week with a longer weekend for various reasons. In recent months, different workplaces around the world have done experiments with this shorter work schedule to determine if the results led to positive changes or not. 


According to Zippia, a careers research firm, employees averaged nearly three hours per eight-hour workday on non-work activities. This indicates that employees spend so much time at workplaces, that they don’t get enough time to do extracurricular activities or hobbies. A Gallup survey showed that the average salaried worker worked 49 hours per week, with 25 percent working more than 60 hours. This implies that the working hours for many have actually gone up during the pandemic and are wearing out workers.  


The introduction of a 4-day work-week schedule could fix this issue. From a study of a 4-day work week, employees have expressed that they were able to work more efficiently and were able to find time to do new things and spend more time with their kids. Also, a study from CNBC found that  90% of employees from an unknown company said they definitely want to continue with a four-day week. They had 55% of workers reported an increase in their ability at work, and 15% said no amount of money would make them go back to a five-day schedule.


Bryan Conte, a worker at Black+Decker, stated that “[his] working hours are typically between 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday”. When asked about the idea of a 4-day work week, he expressed that he “would be in favor of this change” because he feels like so much time is spent at work to the point where he “doesn’t get enough time to spend on household tasks and extracurricular activities”. Even though Conte hasn’t experienced what a 4-day work week would be like, he “believe[s] that this new schedule would allow people to manage their time better and have a healthier balance between work and personal life”. 


Helena Tesfaye, a senior at ERHS agreed with the idea of a 4-day work week. She feels like she “really only has Friday nights to catch up on her sleep” since Saturdays and Sundays tend to be filled with important events. She also states that she “uses Sundays to finish her homework and study for any tests”, so she believes that having an extra day would “allow [her] to get more time to work efficiently. 


Though there have been some tests that showed positive results from a 4-day work week, other tests have shown that it created more issues. In an experiment conducted in France, they found that people demanded the same amount of pay that they would get for a 5-day work week, so some companies had to pay employees overtime. Also, this indicates that employees would have to work longer hours during the 4 work days in order to make the same money that they would during a 5-day work week. It’s also understandable that the pressure would be much higher for workers since they have less time to finish certain tasks. This could possibly lead workers to deal with more stress in the long run.


Based on various 4-day work-week experiments, many results have shown that 4-day work-weeks have improved the performance, energy, and productivity of employees. A shortened work-week could also have a positive impact on schools, allowing students to get more time to sleep, study, work on assignments, and have time to do other non-school-related activities.