What’s wrong with a 5 day week?

The 5 day week is simply outmoded, a relic of a now distant era. Much like the spinning jenny and the telegram, the 5 day week is obsolete -- but it persists because it is mistakenly believed to be optimal for the economy. It isn't. The 4 day week has proven to deliver as much, if not more, productivity while improving lives: individuals, families, and entire communities. For generations, American workers have not enjoyed the benefits of their hard work. The 4 day week is a way to ensure that economic benefits are shared by everyone -- while improving quality of life, civic engagement, and the environment.

What can I expect from a 4 day week?

Companies that have made the transition to a 32 hour workweek see increases in productivity, higher talent attraction and retention, deeper customer engagement, and improved employee health. Like with any organizational change, you can also expect some colleagues to need more reassurance, and some to require additional support while they step into more autonomous roles as managers and employees.

How should I approach my board / boss / colleagues about a 4 day week?

There are many benefits to a 32 hour workweek. Make the case that works: deeper community engagement, higher productivity, lower carbon emissions, time with family, or great financial returns — not to mention, the “pursuit of happiness.” People can rest and engage in their lives, companies can build toward a more efficient workweek, customers enjoy the productivity of that collaboration, and our entire country can reap the benefits.

Does a 4 day week only work for the most privileged workers?

It is critical that the 4 day week benefit everyone, not just one slice of society. The 4 day week must be extended to everyone in order to truly deliver benefits to our nation. The 4 Day Week US campaign is working to ensure employers and employees in all industries and parts of society are part of this transition.

What does 4 day week mean for employees that are paid by the hour?

Everyone must benefit from the 4 day week. This may require raising hourly wages, the provision of government incentives, and/or finding ways to provide health care outside of employment to ensure that no one is left behind.

What if my company offers unlimited paid time off?

Research shows that employees do not use paid leave more frequently when they have unlimited PTO, which does not solve for long term burnout or exhaustion. The 32 hour work week provides the structure and the norm for employees to take their time off.

What if my company offers flexible working hours?

Flexible schedules simply reorganize the same number of working hours, which does not solve for long-term burnout or exhaustion. Our goal is to reduce the overall amount of hours that we work, not just rearrange them.

Why should my company pay employees the same amount for working less?

The most successful 4 day week agreements between employees and companies exchange 100% pay for 100% output. Put another way, while employees will be working less hours, added rest and focus means that they can achieve the same goals. As such, research shows that companies benefit from higher productivity and higher returns when their workers continue to be compensated at their standard pay.

What if we can’t close our entire business for an extra day?

That’s okay! Teams operate differently, and any one business’s four day week may not look like your four day week. We’ve seen successful case studies from all sectors, business sizes, and types of workforces when they approach a shorter workweek with the model that works for them. Check out these case studies for examples.

We have many different types of teams and schedules. How do we roll this out in a way that’s fair to all employees?

A solution that works for one team, won’t work for all teams - and a solution that only works for one team isn’t a solution. We’re here to help you design an approach that works across your workforce - whether salaried, hourly, informal, or gig. Consider what it would look like to offer a raise to each type of team - except instead of increasing wages, you’re decreasing hours. Check out these case studies for examples.

Should we roll this plan out across our entire businesses or in stages?

Some companies may make this decision quickly, but require some time with implementation. Henry Ford spent three years introducing the 5 day week across his entire business. Starting with trials for different parts of your businesses can help build lessons, enthusiasm, and clarity.

How do I know our industry is a good fit for this?

Companies across even the most surprising industries are maintaining the same pay levels while instituting shorter workweeks: restaurants, law firms, nursing, and hospitality - as well as start-ups, legacy companies, and small businesses. We know this may take a carefully imagined approach, and are here to help. Henry Ford is often attributed as saying, “Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t, you are right.” If you’re a company that thinks you can, get started with a pilot.

How do I get started?

Sign the petition for a 4 day week!

And if you’re a company ready to explore how the 4 day week can increase productivity, customer satisfaction, and staff retention, get in touch.