The Goodwin Blog

Stay Up To Date With The Latest News & Insights

Is a 4-Day Workweek the Right Solution for Your Business?

Is a 4-Day Workweek the Right Solution for Your Business

Increasingly, I hear job candidates talk about their preference to work longer hours and less days, rather than shorter hours and more days. For example, they’d love to work 10 hours per day, Tuesday through Friday, and have Saturday through Monday off – a 4-day workweek. 

In this Forbes article, Why the 4-Day Workweek Is Gaining Momentum, it’s noted that…

“With employee burnout at an all-time high and organizations fighting to attract and retain top talent, flexible work options are becoming increasingly popular.”   

If you are considering shorter workweeks for full-time employees and what number of workdays is right for your business, the following pros and cons can help business leaders make a better-informed decision about what’s best for the company, team, and customers. 

Pros of a four-day workweek:     

  • Better work-life balance and employee retention: Allowing your team an extra day off each week to rejuvenate and deal with family or personal matters can have a tremendously positive impact on your business. They’ll come to work well-rested and ready to put forth their creative energy each day.  
  • Improved mental health and employee well-being: This positive result can impact individual employees, entire teams, and your work environment, as stress and burnout are reduced and time at work feels more manageable. 
  • Higher productivity: Employees will want to get as much done in their four workdays as possible so they can feel good about having a restorative extra day off. 

Cons of a four-day workweek:    

  • Mindset shift: For some employees who are accustomed to a traditional 5-day workweek, a shorter, four-day workweek could turn into longer working hours, as they feel the need to stay longer each day to make up for their extra day off. This arrangement can be a big adjustment after many years of 40-hour weeks, 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. 
  • Meeting operational and customer needs: Clearly, choosing the right working model of either four 8-hour days or four 10-hour days should be based on the needs of your company and customers. Companies are doing both, but in either scenario, it’s critical to communicate to employees that delivering results is still the expectation.  
  • It can take time to adjust: At first, company operating culture may struggle to adjust to a new model, especially as you establish the right number of staff to maintain full coverage each day of the week. For industries like hospitality, healthcare, and retail, it may be harder to find the right work schedule in a compressed workweek. 

Get insights from other companies’ experiences  

The decision to proceed with a four-day workweek is an important one, affecting both on-site and remote work employees. As you approach this potential change, or if you find yourself considering a pilot program to see how it might work, talk with an experienced recruiting partner who has insights into what other companies are doing. Shorter weeks are working for many organizations. 

Reach out to me today for a complimentary consultation based on what our clients are finding success with for their companies and teams. I am a DEI-certified senior recruiting partner with Goodwin Recruiting and am happy to share observations with you about making the change to a four-day week.