The idea of a four-day work week is nothing new. Companies have been toying around with the idea since even before the pandemic. But, during the pandemic and beyond, workplaces and employers are seeing that if we can actually work from anywhere, we also might be able to work a shorter week.

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It seems like employees have been dreaming about something like this actually happening for a long time, but it never seemed like something that would become an actual reality. But, we are getting a little closer to making that dream a reality.

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The world's largest four-day work week experiment just started in the U.K. The experiment will last six months and involves 3,300 workers and 70 different companies.

During the experiment, workers will still receive their FULL 40 hours a week pay for working 32 hours. During this time, they are expected to maintain 100% of their productivity. The idea is to improve the employee's work/life balance.

How close are we to seeing a four-day work week in the US?

At the moment, there is a similar experiment going on just like the one in the UK.

A four-day workweek pilot program is now underway in the U.S. and Canada. The four-day workweek just became a reality for dozens of companies across the U.S. and Canada, at least for the next several months. The pilot program, being led by 4 Day Week Global, kicked off in April.

- CNBC

But experts don't agree on the feasibility of a nationwide reduced work week.

...experts — like Harvey Kaye, author, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay — doubt we can actually make these big structural changes.

- Market Watch

It would be very hard to implement such a work week for people who get paid hourly. Unfortunately, the concept really only applies to salaried workers or hourly workers who are willing to work four, ten-hour days.

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What are the advantages of a four-day work week? 

According to Breathe HR,

  • Reduced costs for employer and employee
  • Happier employees, less stressed employees
  • Fewer health issues, sick days, and health insurance claims
  • Increase in productivity levels
  • Recruitment and retention
  • Helps the environment by slowing down climate change

Sounds awesome, right?

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What are the disadvantages of a four-day work week?

  • It doesn't suit every business model.
  • Longer hours and work-related stress, if 40 hours is still the expectation.

Obviously, the four-day work week has some major advantages and a few disadvantages, but overall it seems like the answer to our stress, burnout, and other issues. But, is it really feasible?

The case for a four-day work week

It will eventually come down to the willingness of individual companies to give the concept a try. And then, up to them as to whether or not they keep it. Some will see the advantages, some will not. Some will be able to do it, and some will find it impossible.

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So are we any closer to a four-day work week in the Tristate? Maybe a little.

As we are all asked to do more at our jobs, work longer, an insane amount of hours, and forgo any kind of home life, we all should cross our fingers that a four-day work week becomes a reality. At least we will have an extra day to rest and live a little.

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