The Four-Day Work Week: Growing Trend or Passing Fad?

Oh the joy of a three-day weekend? Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well, for some companies the dream is reality.

Tampa-based Brick Media has seen a deluge of resumes since implementing a four-day work week in January of this year, according to CEO Jake Kurtz.

The concept of a four-day work week continues to gain popularity as more companies experiment with it. But like all new ideas, there are potential benefits and drawbacks.

Simply put, the four-day workweek is a schedule where employees work four days per week instead of the traditional five. It’s designed to give employees an extra day off in the hopes that a rested and energized workforce will be more motivated and productive on the days they are at work. And as you may imagine, the significant advantage is increased employee satisfaction. The extra time off can lead to improved work-life balance and employees are more likely to stay with your company longer.

Proponents believe fewer workdays create a sense of urgency that increases productivity and results in improved time management skills, along with other benefits like reduced overhead costs.

You’re sold. So what are the drawbacks? The most significant concern is a potential impact on productivity. One fewer workday often means the same amount of work needs to be done in a shorter amount of time, which some fear may lead to burnout, increased stress, and decreased productivity. And with less face-to-face time at the office, collaboration could suffer, leading to lower quality work.

In addition, a four-day workweek might not be feasible for all industries. Many fields, like retail or healthcare, require employees to be present on a regular schedule. Companies with a global presence could struggle to coordinate schedules across time zones as well.

Results have been mixed. Many companies have reported increased productivity, decreased stress and improved employee satisfaction. Microsoft Japan experimented with a four-day workweek in 2019 and reported a 40% increase in productivity. Other companies have reported decreased productivity and a need to increase work hours on workdays to compensate for the extra day off.

  • Shake Shack: In 2020, Shake Shack announced that it would be implementing a four-day workweek for some of its employees at its Las Vegas location. The trial was meant to address the challenges of the hospitality industry, which can be physically and mentally demanding.

While the idea of a four-day workweek is appealing, especially to employees, founders need to weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks carefully before considering it. The four-day workweek works for some companies in general, but may not be a fit for others, like retail or health care in particular. Ultimately, the decision needs to be made with the best interests of the company, the investors, and the employees in mind.

Originally published at on February 25, 2023.



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