Pros & Cons of Four-Day Workweek

Pros & Cons of Four-Day Workweek

Everybody loves a 3-day weekend, but would you if you had one every week? A four-day workweek appears like a fabulous idea, but it is not for everyone. Here are many factors to consider about before switching to a four-day workweek.

What Is meant by Four-Day Workweek?

The standard full-time workweek is eight hours per day, five days a week. When you switch to a four-day workweek, you yet work 40 hours, but you work 10 hours each day.

You don’t have to have everyone on the staff work a four-day week; you can decide deployed on employee wants and business needs. The extra day off does not have to be on a Monday or Friday so that the employee gets a three-day weekend. You can designate any day of the week based on the business needs and the employees’ preference.

Pay for a Four-Day Workweek

If a worker is salaried exempt and is not eligible for overtime pay, then there is no pay issue linked with a shortened workweek. The employee gets the same amount of pay every week, regardless of the number of hours worked or the number of days worked.

If an employee is non-exempt (whether salaried or hourly), the employee is eligible for overtime pay. In most of the United States, an employee is eligible for overtime if she works more than 40 hours in a single week. The paycheck for an employee who works five eight hour days would be identical to the paycheck for an employee who works four ten-hour days.

Although, in California and a few other locations, an employee gets overtime pay after working more than eight hours in a single day. So, a California non-exempt employee on a four-day workweek would receive 32 hours of straight pay and eight hours of overtime every week.

Vacation for a Four-Day Workweek 

A lot of businesses talk about vacation deployed on hours or days.

If everyone in the office works a four-day workweek, the day references are fine, but be careful if you’ve some individuals working a traditional workweek and some working an alternate schedule.

Rather than stating that employees get ten days of vacation, use the language “80 hours.” That way, it’s clear that a person working four 10 hour days gets two weeks of vacation, just like an employee on a flexible schedule. Otherwise, your employee could claim she’s owed 100 hours of vacation.

Generally, laws permit business to establish their vacation plans, but those businesses are bound by their handbooks, so make sure that your vacation plan states exactly what time off you need to provide for your employees.

Pros of the Four-Day Workweek

The employee side can be pretty clear: having another day with no work and no commute can free up personal time in a big way. But the employee isn’t the only one who could benefit from a shortened workweek.

Many studies show various benefits such as reduced stress, increased productivity, and happier more engaged employees. Giving up an extra day off work per week can be a pretty big hurdle to your good employees moving to a new company.

Cons of the Four-Day Workweek

First, the four-day workweek does not work for every business and surely not for every employee.

If your clients expect individuals to be available five days a week, then an employee who is unavailable every Friday could cause problems.

A four-day workweek can also make child care more complex. Many daycare and after-school care programs function around the idea that a parent works on an 8 am to 5 pm type schedule. They don’t open at 6 am or stay open until 8 pm to accommodate a parent’s unusual schedule.

People might feel refreshed by having an extra day off of work each week but they may also experience a drop in productivity after so many hours at work in a single day.

In the case of an exempt worker who has an alternate schedule while others work the traditional Monday-Friday schedule, that person might feel pressure to call into meetings or respond to messages on her day off. This isn’t fair but you need to assess whether the alternative schedule is adversely affecting the employee’s team.

Keep in mind that you must pay a nonexempt worker for any extra time she puts into work outside of the four-day workweek.

Should You Execute a Four-Day Workweek?

The answer actually relies on your business’ requirements and your employees’ wants. If you have an employee ask about working a four-day week, it makes sense to look and see if it would work for this person in this position.

Perhaps try a temporary run for a few months to see how it works out for you. Flexibility is a benefit that several workers look for from an employer, and having this as an option makes you more desirable to many job seekers.

But before you change your company schedule, make sure this will make your business more productive and your workers happier. Otherwise, a four-day workweek isn’t worth the change.