Company tries four-day work-week, discovers only upsides


Protestant work ethics is one of the most corrosive myths still around.


Žižek has couple things to say about this urge to keep your employees happy. Fundamental conflict of interest between employees and employers still stands. It can be just temporary bridged and reduced.


Just to offer a contrarian opinion; Not everyone has families.
For every two articles about how we work ourselves to death there is an article about loneliness being a new epidemic or something. Yes, you can compensate by spending that third day off taking salsa classes or whatever, but personally I quite like the social interaction I get from work. I have a role and a purpose; I spent my whole life building up to this point so why wouldn’t I enjoy being that person I have become. How would introducing a third a weekday with no clear purpose be an improvement on that? So while some may benefit from having three whole days off per week, there are plenty of others for whom the better solution would be a 5 day work week, but with some more flexibility in terms of time allocated for personal projects or similar.


Congratulations, your ditchdiggers will have BS/BA degrees, I’m sure that will make them proud, and not waste 40k per person.


Why not? The 40-hour work week was considered a smashing idea that many conservatives opposed tooth and nail, to the point of murdering union members who went on strike for it. Now we accept it, even as companies chip away at it by making more and more folks “salaried” despite their jobs not requiring it, thus allowing them to work them longer hours without increasing pay.

Sure, conservatives will dismiss empirical evidence and make brash claims (lies) about productivity, work ethics, etc. And it won’t have a snowballs chance in hell of becoming law in the current political environment in the US. But I have hope and faith the younger, far more progressive voters entering the polls in the coming years will have a profound effect on our political landscape, for the better.

Fingers crossed at least.


I have been doing it at my company in Australia for the last four years.

I work two ten-hour days and two nine-hour days per week. The longer days are slightly tiring, but the extra day off every week MORE than makes up for it. I have recently been working two and two, with Wednesdays off and it’s GREAT! I’m getting things done that I never had time for before. I also save 20% on my parking/public transport, which really adds up.


If nothing else it would give you a chance to think about/start preparing for the person you want to be when you (hopefully) reach a point where you cannot/ are not allowed to continue fulfilling yourself through your work.

Unless Death comes for you first, that day will come.


I still like Steve Hughes’s 2-day work week idea…


Here’s a crazy idea - just hear me out.

Person A works M-Th, person B works Th-Su - now we’ve covered all the days of the week. Astonishing!


You should maybe read the article or at least the summary of the article included with the post.


I could certainly get behind working four days per week, but there’s no way management would go for it. Nope. Not happening here.

That should be the mantra everywhere.

When I was in the USAF, I was at a PMEL shop in England that was up to 60 days behind on most repairs/calibrations of test equipment, and as much as a year on a few of them.

We got a new MSgt in to run the shop, and he implemented a plan where, each week, if we got the backlog down to a specific level we would get a 1/2 day off.

It was working so well, that he increased the time off to every Friday, and then every Thursday and Friday.

We took turns forming a skeleton crew of three people on the days when everyone else was off, and our backlog was down to zero days. Everything that came in went out the same day.

When the CO found out, he went through the roof. But MSgt Keenan stood his ground, and it was still in place when I PCSed back stateside.

I’ve never worked anywhere like it since.


I would like to come work for you. Where do I send my résumé?


You and I are very different people.

[If it’s not clear, that’s a compliment.]


Some years back there was a chain of four day tire stores in southern California. They seriously pushed the four day theme in their verbose ads. They were founded by an advertising guy, and apparently did pretty well with stores in a number of states. They didn’t last too long after the founder died. Apparently, the suit types who took over couldn’t handle the extra profits.


I do too. I work for State of Utah and they allow the option to work 4-10’s. It is a really nice perk.


Are you ever planning on retiring? What will you ever do?


Working on the sabbath? OMG! For shame! /S


Can you chop and change - like, work 5 days this week, 4 next? Can you bank it from week to week, say working 10 hours every Monday for four weeks, then take the Friday off?

Edit: I’m not trying to second guess. I’m genuinely curious about the mechanics :slight_smile:

I had a friend who worked 4x10 at a company here, taking every Wednesday off. It worked really well for him (it dovetailed with his partner’s work, and allowed them to really nail child care for their toddler). I’d be pretty keen on 4x10 too, I think.


You’re quite right. I do worry about that.


Couldn’t you use that other day maybe socializing outside the office with your friends from work? You could also negotiate for a longer week, with shorter hours during the day, perhaps… or adopt a constructive hobby? [ETA] Or take classes to improve skills related to your profession?

But honestly, I don’t think this is something you’re going to have to be concerned with, as this being adopted widely is probably pretty low…

To be fair, I think it’s not just a couple of folks who benefit, but much of the population who benefits. It’s not only about child care, but about elder care (which, unless your parents died when you were younger, will become an issue in your life) or even caring about one self, helping out friends, siblings, etc. It’s about being more than a cog in the system.

Plus, if you work fewer hours, then that may free up more jobs for others, too.