Does a Four-Day Work Week Make You More Productive?

Many companies are moving away from a traditional five-day work week to create a better work-life balance for their employees.

By: Rachel Rosenthal

As employees are focusing more on work-life balance, companies are beginning to implement four-day work weeks. A four-day work week usually means that employees work their normal forty hours in four days instead of five. Those used to a traditional work week will find themselves with an  extra full day to themselves. A four-day work week works best if the entire office is on the same schedule, as it makes holding meetings and collaboration easier. A four-day work week may not work in industries where employees need to be present five or more days in order to successfully do their jobs, such as in retail and manufacturing.



There are many benefits of a shortened, more flexible work week. Only working four days instead of five, allows for one ‘free day’.  Employees may be more motivated and productive during the work day, because after being so used to a traditional work week, an extra day off feels more rewarding. This can lead to a greater sense of employee and job satisfaction. The extra day can be spent running errands, attending doctor appointments, and spending time with friends and family.



Implementing a four-day work week could also present some challenges to employees. Completing the same amount of work in four days instead of five days may cause stress. Working longer hours in order to have a day off every week may cause fatigue amongst employees who are not used to working ten hours a day instead of eight hours. This schedule may also cause problems with childcare, as many daycares are only open certain hours during the week. A four-day work week does not work for every job type, as some industries require people to be present beyond four days.  


As you can see, a four-day work week comes with pros and cons. Work-life balance is becoming increasingly important to many people, especially millennials who often value work-life balance over wealth and leadership opportunities. A more flexible schedule can lead to increased productivity and more time being spent with friends and family, though it may not be for everyone or every industry.