The case for a shorter workday - Deepstash
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Music and Productivity

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The four-day workweek

The four-day workweek

The four-day workweek with a three-day weekend is nice, but condensing five days of work into four can prove stressful for some workers and may even be considered non-viable. 

There may be other alternatives. Some organisational psychologists suggest shortening the workday, such as six hours rather than eight. Some businesses need to be available five days a week and may find it easier and more convenient to shorten the workday.


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Arguments for a shorter workday

Eight-hour workdays are standard for many industries – and this structure is hard to change. Everyone thinks of work as five days a week, eight hours a day. But, the lack of evolution is a failure of imagination, not actually measuring people's results. 

Studies show working longer does not necessarily correlate to greater productivity in general. Workers' output decreases sharply after about 48 hours. Other experts suggest the optimal working-hour number could be as few as 35 hours per week or six hours a day. 


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Benefits of a shorter workday

  • A shorter workday is linked to increased worker wellbeing and potentially heightened productivity. 
  • A UK survey showed that, on average, people only feel productive for about half the workday. So shortening it could motivate them to increase that window. 
  • Increased productivity could also stem from better worker morale. Many workers’ efficiency may increase while their mistakes decrease.
  • With shorter days, workers may be more inclined to do effective, efficient work instead of wasting time or taking on busy work to fill eight hours a day.


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Potential pitfalls

  • There’s no guarantee every worker will be equally productive during a shorter day, especially for less committed workers. 
  • A shorter workday for multinational companies in some industries could also interfere with the overlap among time zones.
  • There may be hidden costs to employers, such as hiring more employees to make up for the need.
  • There’s also a danger that shortening the workday won’t actually change how much people work.


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