Scotland has become the latest country to announce it will trial a four-day working week. The news comes after the SNP government announced it is setting up a £10 million fund to enable some businesses to trial the four-day workweek arrangement. Spain and Ireland have trials underway already.
While the benefits of the four-day workweek have been widely reported, some argue that the arrangement is not that realistic–at least in the UK.
Data points that the average UK worker works 42.5 hours a week. Surveys have found that as many as two-thirds of employees work longer than their contracted hours. This means that for the four-day workweek to work in such a setting, workers would need to work over 12 hours each day to manage their workload.
Not only is this not realistic, but it’s not very productive. Research has found that those who work beyond 4.6 hours in front of a computer produce smaller quantities of output per hour. That’s not to mention that 12-hour days are likely to negatively impact wellbeing.
With the above in mind, the 4-day workweek is not all it’s cracked up to be, at least not for everyone.