Four-Day Work Week = Three-Day Weekend

2009 September 17
by Kate O'Neill

Creative Commons License photo credit: kainet

How would you like a three-day weekend every week? That’s the upshot of the four-day work week where each work day consists of 10 hours instead of the 8 in a 5-day work week.

We’ve talked about the Working 4 Utah initiative before, where the state has instituted this 4-day schedule across some 70% of its workforce, but now that the program has been in place for a full year, GOOD has circled back to review and is reporting several key benefits, of which our favorite, predictably enough, is this:

4: Happier, healthier workforce

Lori Wadsworth, a researcher at Brigham Young University, surveyed Utah workers who’ve transitioned to the 4 x 10 schedule and found that 82 percent prefer it. And, according to Wadsworth, “Utah employees actually show decreased health complaints, less stress, and fewer sick days.” And while absenteeism has dropped, productivity and quality of service have improved—customer complaints, for example, at state agencies like the DMV are down. Early evidence seems to quell the initial fears that 10-hour workdays would “burn out” employees.

Of course, on the entrepreneurial side of our audience, where there’s more and more push for the  four-hour work week (popularized by Timothy Ferris in his book of the same name), the idea of working four tens probably has little appeal. But if you’re in a traditional office environment, as we know many of our readers are, we’re curious to know if you’d be interested in this arrangement.

Would you prefer a schedule of four ten-hour work days each week to the standard five eight-hour days? Let us know why or why not in the comments.

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One Response leave one →
  1. 2009 September 19

    I work for a non-profit that is run by a board (while also working for myself full-time) and they haven’t been willing to approve a “flex” type of schedule. It’s frustrating because I know I’d love it and have supported the idea for years. Props to those businesses who are doing it!

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