Did you know that 30% of large U.S. companies and organizations are looking at shifting to a four-day workweek?

Data analyzed by Forbes in May 2024 found the concept of a four-day workweek is building momentum, having been tipped back into public consciousness by Democratic Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Sanders introduced legislation that supports a four-day workweek that leads to absolutely no loss of pay, but cuts overall hours from an average of 40 down to 32. Billionaire financier Steve Cohen later publicly supported the movement, telling news outlets that the four-day workweek is coming.

But, why do people support these cuts? Well, Forbes found five key reasons. Let’s dig into them now!

Impact of COVID-19 Lockdowns

Millions of Americans learned during the COVID-19 pandemic that they are perfectly capable of doing their jobs from home on a smaller time frame, allowing them both the flexibility to earn while supporting their companies and families. Studies cited by Forbes suggest companies that mandated in-office returns to work after the COVID-19 led to a 42% attrition rate in employees, and a further 29% struggle to recruit new talent. (TAKE A POLL: Should the Government Take Immediate Action to Curb Inflation, Even if it Means Higher Taxes?)

Employees are reluctant to spend time, money, and effort, going into an arbitrary room to do a job they are perfectly capable of doing from home. The sheer financial cost of paying to travel into work, along with all the other daily costs associated, are making in-person jobs less and less attractive in our failing economy.

Fridays Are Already Unproductive

“In the past couple of years, it’s evident that many of us are working a lot less on Fridays. Compared to 2021, the average employee signs off an hour earlier on Fridays,” wrote Forbes, citing a company called ActivTrak. If employees are already unproductive on Friday afternoons, why force them to be somewhere they’ll resent? (TAKE A POLL: Do You Agree That Small Businesses Are the Backbone of Our Economy and Need More Support?)

4-Day Workweek Trials Are Successful

The world’s largest four-day workweek trial resulted in a majority of the companies involved making the policy permanent. After a year of employing the policy, staff reported a far higher level of well-being. And 50% of companies saw reduced turnover, along with a 32% boost in recruitment.

“The results are really stable. It’s not a novelty effect,” sociologist Juliet Schor told the outlet. “People are feeling really on top of their work with this new model.”

Positive Impact on People

We spend huge amounts of time at work. Why not make it an enjoyable place to be? Companies that employ a four-day workweek have far more efficient employees. And the employees feel it too! Not only do employees feel better about being in work when their employers support their real lives outside the office, but they get more done as a result. (TAKE A POLL: Will Traditional Colleges Become Obsolete Due to Online Learning?)

Technology Is Pushing Us There Anyway …

New technological advances, such as artificial intelligence, are making companies more streamlined. This means there is less time needed to work on different projects, allowing organizations to make the same amount of money (if not more) in a smaller timeframe. Surely the best way to spend this free time is by enjoying the fruits of labor?

But there is a downside to things like artificial intelligence. These technologies could render millions of people with absolutely no need to work. This doesn’t mean they’d get a free life. It would mean a total loss of entire job sectors. So, there are many things to balance in this equation as we move through the coming years.

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