4 day working week – how beneficial is it?

Written by Mairead Simons

You may recently have seen in the news that the outcome of the trial of the 4-day working week was an astounding success. The overall verdict being that a 4-day working week had a positive effect on business.

With Belgium introducing the 4-day work-week in Nov 2022 for employees who want it (without loss of salary), it looks like its catching on. However, we should keep in mind that these employees are not in fact working less hours, they are just condensing the same number of hours into less days. The UK have recently finished a 6-month study into the 4-day working week, which again was hailed as ‘extremely successful’. So, what are the benefits and how does this impact employees?

Modern technological developments are speeding up the way we work significantly, as spending time on lengthy paperwork and spreadsheets has long been forgotten due to Cloud software. Improved technology and greater access to this can potentially improve productivity, meaning long 5 days weeks may not be necessary in future. If all the work can be completed with a 4 day period, then the argument is that there is no need for employees to work the 5th weekday.

Employee satisfaction can also be increased through the introduction of a 4 day working week. Having an extra day to your ‘weekend’ can lead to greater overall satisfaction in their role, leading to higher productivity. The ‘reward’ of a shorter working week may leave employees feeling valued more highly and with stronger loyalty to their company.

Creating a more equal workplace may also be one of the results that springs from a 4 day working week. Although steps towards equality are being made in lots of areas, the world of work is not yet fully equal. Childcare restraints and healthcare problems can often mean some workers are limited to part-time, when they might not ideally choose this. Rolling out a shorter working week for all employees could mean that care and work commitments can be juggled easier, meaning greater equality within companies.

Another, perhaps overlooked, impact is the effect on carbon footprints. Working, and therefore travelling, one day less per week could see a positive effect on the environment and our individual carbon footprints. If more and more companies put this policy in place then the effect on the greater picture could be astounding.

With the potential roll out of this scheme across more countries in the EU in the coming months, it’s definitely something to consider for forward-thinking companies and the benefits are clear to see.



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