The 4-day workweek has been talked about for years, but one researcher thinks now may be the time for employers to consider shifting to four 10-hour workdays.
“This is the time for employers to think differently about the workplace and work schedules,” said Professor Scott Behson, author of the new book, “The Whole-Person Workplace.”
“Really now is the time. It would be a shame to have to suffer through everything we all suffered through for the last two years and not learn any lessons and not try to do things differently and better.”
In 2008, researchers at Brigham Young University studied the effect of 4-day workweeks and found workers experienced “lower levels of at-home conflict, which … translate[d] to higher job satisfaction and productivity.” Utah officials experimented with condensed workweeks for state employees a decade ago but abandoned the idea after three years because they didn’t think it was saving the state any money.
According to Behson, companies that have experimented with shorter work weeks saw productivity either hold steady or go up. But Behson said employers have a hard time embracing change, which is why the 4-day workweek has been slow to catch on.
“I think some managers have a hard time letting go of being able to see all their employees at one time and trust that the work is getting done. But better organizations are better able to make sure that people are working well and to manage productivity that way.”
The idea seems to be gaining a little steam, however.
The company Kickstarter announced a pilot 4-day work week for 2022 as part of a nationwide campaign called “4-Day Week U.S,” a nonprofit organization that advocates for a shortened workweek.
Jason Law of Boston 25 News contributed to this article.
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