If you’re a follower of the latest work-buzz, you might have encountered discussions around 4 day work weeks. How far do you think it’s feasible?

How will it work? Won’t the company suffer? Will businesses allow employees that much flexibility? Is it a boon or a bane for workers?

This blog shall discuss all the questions in your head related to the 4 day work week buzz. Will it be 32 hours per week, and will it pay the same? We’ll cover it all.

Here, we will also discuss some companies with 4-day workweeks and how the employees are affected by this new policy.

The Need for 4-Day Work Weeks

The Covid-19 pandemic that threw a big blow on businesses worldwide brought about many changes in how companies operate. Companies are lately increasingly focussing on employee-centric factors like

  • Employee Well-being
  • Mental health
  • Engagement
  • Perks and Benefits
  • Retention
    The transition to remote work during the pandemic allowed us to taste what a healthy work-life balance looks like, and now we want more of it. Requirements like these have compelled companies to invest in new policies like perks & benefits and flexibility ranging to 32-hour work weeks.

In June 2021 alone, 4.2 million workers quit their jobs for “better” and happier jobs. The year 2021 faced “The Great Resignation,” so companies are now adopting measures to avoid another tragedy.

Job seekers have now realized that working for a job you’re not satisfied with is not worth it, and there are enough opportunities out there if you know where to look. Also, the supply vs. demand graph for good talent is constantly varying. This made many companies switch to a four day, 32-hour workweek.

Moving to a Four Day 32-Hour Workweek

Several studies in history have pointed out that as working hours increase, productivity decreases gradually. The traditional 40-hour workweek was developed to improve productivity nearly 100 years ago.

Although it is working fine even now, something developed 100 years ago cannot have the same perks today. As requirements change, policies change with them.

The typical four-day work week consists of working 32 hours over 4 days with a long weekend of 3 days. Seems fun, doesn’t it?

During the pandemic, less than 40% of jobs could be done from home. Not all industries benefit from remote work. This calls for a policy that makes employees commute to work for a healthy balance.

Currently, companies that offer a four day, 32-hour workweek are limited since most of them are doing a “test run” on it. At the same time, some countries are running experiments around the same. The top countries that fall on the list are:

  1. Australia
  2. Austria
  3. Belgium
  4. Canada
  5. Denmark
  6. Germany

As an employee or candidate, it is important to understand this policy's aspects before you decide to shift to a four day, 32-hour workweek. Hence, we will discuss the pros and cons of working a four-day shift.

“The idea behind a four-day workweek is to achieve the same results in fewer hours, so people have more time to pursue other interests, spend time with loved ones, and manage their lives.” - Amy Fontinelle.

3 Important Advantages of 4-Day Work Weeks

Before diving into the advantages, let us check out some statistics about four-day work weeks.

A survey points out that companies that have adopted a four day 32-hour workweek have seen improved team productivity and morale. Here are some team numbers to support this.

  • Happier employees: 78%
  • Healthier employees: 62%
  • Less stressed employees: 70%

Let us now look at some more advantages:

1. Improved productivity

A study in the UK noted that the average amount of time people actually spent working during the typical 8-hour shift is a little over 2 hours. Only 2 working hours out of 8 hours? Yes, the numbers are crazy.

Time spent in the office is usually invested in other activities like:

  • Social media – 47%
  • Surfing news websites – 45%
  • Discussing random activities with co-workers – 38%
  • Making tea/coffee – 31%
  • Smoke breaks – 28%
  • Texting – 27%
  • Snacks – 25%
  • Cooking in the office – 24%
  • Attending calls with friends/partners- 24%
  • Looking for new jobs – 19%

Lesser work days during the week means you have a long weekend and more time to attend to stuff outside of work. With only 4 working days, your work is more structured and contains lesser meetings and more productive time. At the end of the day, your working hours increase, boosting your productivity.

2. Better mental health and well-being

A 5 day work week can be exhausting for many of us. We often spend our weekends doing personal chores and attending to family and friends. In such a schedule, finding time for ourselves and focusing on our mental health can take a turn.

I was way more rested and ready for the work week after having a long weekend.” - Survey respondent.

People who have worked in companies with 4-day work weeks have claimed that having a long weekend reduced stress at work and improved their will to work.

Having fewer working days also meant no room for micromanagement since everybody had to focus on their goals, and tasks had to be assigned efficiently.

Toxic work environments and micromanagement are among the top reasons people experience stress at work and end up quitting their jobs.

3. Work-life balance

Some of you may think working fewer days during the week will result in working more hours during those 4 days. The concept of 4 day work week does not support 10-hour days or anything along those lines.

The 888 theory of work-life balance: 8 hours work, 8 hours recreation, and 8 hours sleep. To achieve a successful work-life balance, following this 8-hour rule is important.


If you’re looking for extra balance in your life, the 32-hour workweek could be ideal for you. It allows you more time to do things for yourself and attend to family while yielding better results at work.

A 32-hour workweek is the best solution for working mothers and fathers.

3 Important Disadvantages of a 4-Day Work Week

Introducing a four-day, 32-hour workweek will not be easy for the company. Neither will it be easy for you to adapt to it. If not planned properly, it can be a bane than a boon.

Why are some people against 4 day work week?

Many workers feel that a 4 day work week could affect their productivity and increase their work hours rather than decrease them. Additionally, they fear they will have to work during their off-hours or on weekends. Not all industries can practice or benefit from the 32-hour shift per week.

A study by Gallup concluded that providing their workers with a 4 day work week is not enough to provide employee engagement. Implementing such a policy needs proper planning and feedback from its current workers. Poor management in such circumstances can lead to chaos and incompetent work schedules.

64% of respondents in a survey stated that a 4-day workweek rewards you with spending one day dedicated to upskilling and learning.

Let us now discuss the most important cons in detail:

1. Incompatible work culture

Getting an offer from a company with a 32-hour workweek might excite you. But, there are several signs to look out for before accepting the job offer.

In a policy like this, there is a high chance that the company will fall into a monotonous work routine since there’s more to do in less time. If the plan and structure for the same are not laid out properly, the work culture may be affected severely. The management has to emphasize how to keep their employees motivated and engaged through the 4 days of hustle and work.

Before joining such a company, always remember to do a thorough background check. Check out reviews about the company from several websites given by both past and present employees.

Here’s a tool that lets you compare work cultures of different companies side by side with reviews from 3 websites- Glassdoor, Google, and LinkedIn: Vantage Lens.

2. Overworking & increased work pressure

The burden of overworking is worse than having less number of holidays. You should be able to have time to breathe at the office too.

From the emotional perspective, overworking can lead to stress, anxiety, depression, anger, burnout which can be experienced as lack of energy, feeling drained, unable to cope or lead to health problems and other physical symptoms.” - Aneta Buckthought.

Increased work pressure during a few days of the month is okay, but overworking every day can lead to several long-term problems like

  • Losing motivation to work
  • Deteriorating physical & mental health,
  • Built-up stress,
  • Absence of work-life balance,
  • Early burn-out,
  • Decreasing productivity

Before opting for a company that practices a 32-hour workweek, ask a few questions about the kind of routine they follow, the work hours, how work is allocated, etc.

Get a clear idea of the roles and responsibilities that would be allocated to you during hiring. Take precautions to avoid getting dumped with extra work after onboarding.

3. Failure to complete tasks

Compressed work hours might only work out well for some. Some people like to ease their tasks throughout the 5 days of the week. Completing the same number of tasks in 4 days could be a hassle.

Time management can be a challenge with the 4-day workweek routine. Failure to complete tasks at the office could compel you to continue working after going home, which ruins your work-life balance.

Having more tasks than your capability and time allows can demotivate you and stress you out unnecessarily. Hence it is important to allocate tasks for yourself according to your competency.

If you feel your goals assigned for the week do not align with your work hours, communicate with your manager or lead. Work out a time management plan for yourself and the whole team and take tasks accordingly.

You’ll never be able to plan perfectly, but to quote another writer in the Bible, “In the abundance of counselors, there is victory.” Don’t believe your own ideas. Involve others in your major decisions and in outlining the steps.” - Stephen Graves.

Companies with 4-Day Work Weeks: 3 Success Stories

Helen Delaney, Professor of the University of Auckland Business School, conducted a study around the 4-day working week policy. According to him, the model's viability focuses mainly on employees’ well-being and productivity.

“My initial analysis suggests that for the greatest chances of success, employees need to be involved in decisions about how it is implemented and monitored long-term," he said.

For the four-day week to work, goodwill from both management and employees is vital."


Panasonic is one of the biggest names on this list. Headquartered in Japan, this multinational electronics company shifted to a four-day, 32-hour workweek in December 2022.

Japan's altering economic guidelines mostly inspired them to suggest companies shift to a 4-day workweek. Panasonic offers, hence, offers an optional third day off during the week.

"The well-being of our employees is a priority, and it is important that we communicate and promote an understanding of this purpose and the significance of this system from the management team to organization managers and all employees" - Airi Minobe, Panasonic Spokesperson.

Perpetual Guardian

“The 4-day work week is not just having a day off a week – it’s about delivering productivity, and meeting customer service standards, meeting personal and team business goals and objectives.” - Andrew Barnes, Founder, Perpetual Guardian.

Another success story around the 32-hour week policy is the New Zealand-based startup Perpetual Garden.

The company started this policy as a trial at first and experienced a rise in productivity by 20%. They also reported that their workers were more engaged and motivated during the trial than on regular days. Hence, they offered all their full-time employees to opt for a 4-day work routine.

“We have proven the concept and developed a model workable for our business, and we have established a KPI for the leaders in our business to ensure productivity and customer service are maintained,” Barnes (Founder) further added.

The right attitude is a requirement to make it work – everyone has to be committed and take it seriously for us to create a viable long-term model for our business.”


Implementing the 4-day workweek was part of people operations at WildBit. What started as a trial soon became an official policy at this Pennsylvania-based software company.

Continuing with the policy since 2017, the company has achieved its goals through the concept of “deep work.” According to them, doing more in less time is achievable through a disturbance-free working process.

Deep Work: “Professional activity performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that pushes your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.”

Deep work comes complimentary with rest. Hence, the 3-day weekend policy.

Despite all the skepticism and backslashes received by the company, it managed to keep up its profits throughout the years. Along with happy team members, the company has also been successful in inspiring many other companies to try out this policy.

Summing Up

Now that you have read both the ups and downsides of working 4 days per week, you should be able to analyze what works better for you.

Studying a company’s work culture is most important regardless of the days they want you to work in the week. Join a company that has clear goals and concentrates on making their employees’ lives easier while achieving results.

Apart from the companies mentioned above, many more companies have adopted the 32-hour workweek policy, and more are shifting towards it. Examine if it works for you by running experiments with a personal project. Work hard for 4 days a week and relax for the rest of 3 days.

This article has been written by Pansy Thakuria. She works as a Content Marketing Specialist at Vantage Lens. Her areas of interest include marketing, mental well-being, travel, and digital tech. When she’s not writing, she’s usually planning trips to remote locations and stalking animals on social media.