The four-day work week has quickly gained traction around the globe, with governments and large organizations exploring how this arrangement could positively impact employees.
But for employers, it could be a nightmare.
According to a recent Qualtrics survey of 1,000 U.S. adults, 92% said they supported a four-day work week, while 79% agreed this model would improve their mental health.
However, the transition to a shorter work week isn’t so simple. For every organization that does decide to take an extra day off, there are 100 others who abide by a traditional five-day work week.
“One of the reasons it’s so challenging for me, and most people, to do a four-day workweek is other people are working on that fifth day, so you’re getting email and you’re getting pulled in,” said Lisa Belanger, CEO of ConsciousWorks
Another obstacle that comes with a four-day work week derives from customers. The research indicates that there is concern over how these staffing adjustments could impact response times.
While Qualtrics’ survey shows that 37% of respondents would take a 5% or more pay cut for a shorter work week, 72% said that a four-day work week would lead them to working longer days.
Some companies have avoided this issue by providing workers with their traditional work schedules, minus one day, without a reduction in pay. This is especially important as 10-hour days are not feasible for working parents.
“I think there is a lot of work and research that an organization has to do before it pulls the trigger on this,” said Granger.