The 4-Day Work Week: Would It Impact Your Employees?
Four-day work weeks and the shortening of working hours have become hot topics in recent years. One notable study from a New Zealand firm tested the four-day work week and saw such positive results, that they hope to make it permanent due to the benefits they had incurred, according to The New York Times. Yet, many of the posts and articles regarding the possibility of shortened weeks focus on the idea rather than the people it affects. That is why we asked Journyx employees, who all come from various walks of life and experiences, to give their opinions on how a four-day work week might affect their company and their lives.
Lance Ellisor, COO
Well, honestly, as COO my first thoughts would be “Can this company afford this? I’ll be working every Friday anyway now. How did I let this happen?” But let’s say that’s all been decided rationally, and I know I won’t have to work weekends any more than I do now. Then my initial thoughts would be “I am going to spend a lot more time doing short trips and enjoying life.” The truth is it feels like there’s almost never enough time to get things done in the 5 days I work.
I like a work/life balance and I don’t like to work weekends, so getting the same amount of work done in 4 days feels daunting and provokes anxiety in me. If the entirety of the business world has moved to the same 4 days, I’d find a way to make it work (thinking of it as a “tax” we all pay). But if it were just our company, I’d feel super anxious about that 5th day when other companies are conducting business but not us.
Overall, I think humanity will eventually move toward a shorter work-week (e.g. France has already moved to a 35-hour work week, albeit 5 days). As automation/AI increases, there will be less work for humans, so it only makes sense. But until such time as the market forces it to happen, as a business person and an armchair economist, I’m not a fan. As a human who wishes he had more time to read and pursue hobbies, I’d love it.
Chris Frentz, Director of IT
A 4-day work week is great in theory, but for IT and Customer Support, it isn’t a reality. Our customer support hours include all 5 work days of the week and for IT, we will still need to be available to work as Journyx employees may not take the day off. I feel that we might be able to alternate through the 4-day work week, but not everyone can be scheduled to be off on the same day.
As far as impacting my home life, I would be able to accomplish more work around the house and get some items checked off the list before the weekend. My child is in daycare and my wife works so it would just give me an extra day of alone time to get chores, house projects, and more miscellaneous tasks done.
I have worked in a 9/80 schedule before with every other Friday off and the team is on an A team/B team scenario. I have done 10/40s as well. As long as the work is getting done, I have seen the concept work in practice.
Kari Foster, Director of Marketing
With an infant at home, a 4-day work week would obviously give me an extra day with her, as well as with my husband. It would also give me extra time to get things done around the house, which is hard to come by when raising a small child. However, as is the case with any week shortened by a holiday or day off, it would also mean cramming more work into less time OR working an extra hour each day so I wouldn’t have to work on the weekend (which I’m prone to do when under deadline and I’m unable to finish the work during the week).
So, I would need to manage my work time more closely. That would mean shorter, more efficient meetings, working only on what is most important for that week and not allowing myself to get too distracted. Sounds easy, right?
Michelle Fox, Business Analyst
In theory, and as a whole, I think that we work too many hours and have a hard time “unplugging” from our jobs. I’m not sure that this idea would work due to how business hours are structured in the U.S. I would like to see an adjustment in how we as individuals get to manage our time and schedules with flexible hours rather than trying to hard code a set number of days and hours.
Ryan O’Daniel, Intern
Currently, I work roughly 3 days a week and choose when I come in, so I can’t say I’d see an impact from a 4-day work week. I will say having extra time at home is extremely valuable and even working from home is nice because I can be there if my grandmother has a medical emergency.
If I was working full time, however, I believe it would help ease tensions and stress and give me more time to recuperate over the weekend. Instead of normally being exhausted at the end of the week, I wouldn’t feel drained and the quality of my work wouldn’t diminish.
Overall, I like the concept even if it doesn’t apply to me because it is similar to how I already work and I enjoy working for 3-4 super-productive days a week instead of 5 moderately productive days.
The 4-day work week is definitely a polarizing topic, especially when considering how it would impact different employees in an organization. From the top to the bottom of the org chart, everyone would be affected in both positive and negative ways by a 4-day work week – so it’s best to consider all viewpoints in your company to help you decide what time-based working structure works best for your office.
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