The concept of a four-day workweek has gained significant traction in recent years, sparking a debate about its feasibility and implications for businesses and employees. Traditionally, the five-day workweek has been the norm, but as society evolves and work-life balance becomes increasingly crucial, the idea of shorter workweeks gains momentum.

The call for a four-day workweek arises from a desire to improve employees' quality of life, enhance work productivity, and reduce stress and burnout. Proponents argue that giving employees an additional day off can lead to increased job satisfaction, improved mental well-being, and higher motivation to excel in the workplace. Additionally, studies have shown that compressed work schedules can boost productivity, efficiency, and creativity, as employees tend to be more focused and driven during their shorter workdays. A recent study compiled by the Wall Street Journal looked across multiple companies in the U.S., Canada, and the UK over a 12-month period, and gathered how businesses and employees alike benefit from this work setup. During these trials, numerous companies, including design agencies, manufacturers, and nonprofits, experimented with the four-day concept, offering employees a paid day off each week while maintaining the same workload. The goal was to assess whether employees could achieve the same level of productivity while working more efficiently.

After six months of implementing the four-day workweek, employees reported several positive outcomes. They experienced reduced burnout, improved health, and increased job satisfaction. Additionally, their average work time decreased by approximately four hours per week, from 38 to 34 hours. For those who continued the schedule for a full 12 months, working hours were further reduced to around 33 hours per week. Remarkably, these employees continued to report improved mental and physical health, as well as a better work-life balance. The results have fueled a growing interest in rethinking traditional work practices.

I will explore the question of whether businesses are prepared for a four-day workweek, and the potential benefits, challenges, and possible strategies for successful implementation.

Benefits of a Four-Day Workweek for Businesses

One of the primary advantages of a four-day workweek is its potential to improve employee retention and attraction. Businesses that embrace this approach may find it easier to attract top talent and keep their workforce satisfied. Offering a better work-life balance and flexibility can make the company more appealing to potential employees.

Furthermore, with fewer workdays, employees are likely to be more productive during their designated hours. The urgency to complete tasks within a shorter timeframe often leads to higher levels of concentration and efficiency. Employees may become more motivated to maximize their productivity during the limited workdays, resulting in improved overall performance.

A four-day workweek can also contribute to reduced absenteeism and fewer sick leaves. By granting employees an extra day to rest and recharge, they are more likely to maintain good health and well-being, leading to a decrease in sick days taken.

Moreover, adopting a four-day workweek can have a positive impact on the environment. With fewer days in the office, there will be fewer commutes, which translates to decreased carbon emissions and a smaller ecological footprint.

Challenges and Concerns

Despite the potential benefits, transitioning to a four-day workweek presents some challenges and concerns that businesses must address to ensure a successful implementation.

One major concern is workload management. Condensing work into fewer days may lead to an overwhelming workload for some employees. To mitigate this, companies need to carefully assess workloads and ensure that employees are not expected to accomplish the same tasks in less time.

For businesses that heavily rely on customer service, reducing workdays may affect response times and overall customer satisfaction. Companies must find innovative ways to maintain high-quality customer support even with a reduced workweek. Moreover, companies with round-the-clock operations or those that serve international clients may face difficulties in adopting a four-day workweek without compromising service availability. Businesses in such industries must develop strategies to ensure continuous operations and seamless customer service.

Lastly, implementing a new work schedule may incur initial transition costs, such as setting up new communication systems or restructuring shifts. While these costs may be temporary, they must be carefully considered during the planning phase.

Readiness Assessment for Businesses

Before adopting a four-day workweek, businesses must conduct a thorough readiness assessment to determine if they are equipped for such a change.

Gathering feedback from employees is essential to gauge their interest and willingness to adapt to a four-day workweek. This will help identify potential challenges and ensure buy-in from the workforce. Analyzing the various job roles within the organization is crucial to identifying which ones can adapt to a compressed workweek. Certain positions may require 24/7 availability, while others might be suitable for flexible schedules.

Conducting a productivity analysis can provide insights into how employees utilize their time during the current workweek. This data can be used to identify areas where improvements can be made to optimize performance. Assessing the company's communication and collaboration tools is necessary to ensure seamless connectivity and efficiency, especially if employees are working from different locations or on different schedules.

Lastly, a pilot program with a smaller group of employees can be an effective way to assess the feasibility and impact of a four-day workweek before a full-scale rollout. This allows businesses to identify and address potential issues on a smaller scale before implementing the change company-wide.


In conclusion, the concept of a four-day workweek has gained momentum as a potential solution to address work-life balance issues and boost employee well-being and productivity. While businesses might face challenges during the transition, thorough planning, employee engagement, and data-driven decisions can pave the way for successful adoption. As society continues to evolve, the four-day workweek presents a compelling opportunity for businesses to enhance their workforce's overall happiness and productivity.


As published in The Manila Times, dated 09 August 2023