• Samuel M. Lopez

The costs and benefits of the four-day work week



You may have heard about the idea of a four-day work or school week before, but how would it work?


The idea is to go from 40 to 32 hours of work per week without cutting pay. This would force workers to be more productive and make more sales, for example. Companies could also save money on electric bills by being closed on the one extra day of the week.


According to Yuki Noguchi, "Shake Shack started testing the idea a year and a half ago. The burger chain shortened managers' workweeks to four days at some stores and found that recruitment spiked, especially among women."


The four-day work week may not have caught on in the U.S., but it is popular in some other countries such as New Zealand and Russia. However, some American companies are considering the idea.


According to TheBalanceCareers, "Generally, laws allow a business to develop their vacation plans, but those businesses are bound by their handbooks, so make sure that your vacation plan states exactly what time off you want to provide for your employees."


This idea may work not for every business and not every employee. If customers are expecting to see someone that works 5 days a week, it may cause problems if no ones is available. This may cause employees to be not productive and to be lazy or either good employees to move another work.



This idea is not just for work places: the four-day school week has even been consideredin many areas.


According to the NEA (National Education Association), since early 2016, "the number of districts moving to a four-day week has grown dramatically, from approximately 120 in 21 states to 560 in 25 states." The extra days off could be used for teacher work days or professional development days, the NEA states.


The extra day off would give many over-worked teachers a break, and parents could also spend more time with their children.


However, as the NEA explains, there are great concerns with the idea of moving towards the four-day week in school districts where many students qualify for or rely on free or reduced lunches; these families may also struggle to afford child care on the extra day when students would normally be at school.