Would a Four-Day Workweek Increase Americans’ Productivity?
Efforts to change the American workweek at the federal level are reigniting discussion on the potential benefits and drawbacks of a shortened workweek.
Current Efforts: USA Today looked into a bill proposed by Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) that would reduce the federal workweek to 32 hours and require overtime pay for employees exceeding 32 hours. Announcing the bill earlier this month, Takano said, “We have before us the opportunity to make common sense changes to work standards passed down from a different era.”
Do Americans Want It? A Newsweek analysis surveyed 1,500 people and found that 71% were in favor of the four-day workweek, with only 4% opposing the idea. The article outlined the history of the 40-hour workweek and the obstacles faced in changing it, determining, “American work culture, with its focus on hard work, competitiveness, and accomplishments, could represent a major obstacle to the introduction of the four-day workweek at a nationwide level, according to experts.”
Potential Downsides: Fox Business outlined the positive results of the four-day workweek seen in recent trials, such as “lower burnout rates, stress levels, staff resignations and sick days,” but found the revised workweek does not work in all occupations. The article cited the service industry, where worker pay is partially reliant on tips, as a sector where a shortened workweek would result in lower pay. The piece also quoted an economist pushing back on the idea that a shortened workweek would increase productivity.
Featured Coverage of this Story
From the LeftIs a 4-day workweek coming? What to know about latest attempt at federal law in Congress
Progressive Democrats are renewing a push to make four-day workweeks federal law, with lead sponsor Rep. Mark Takano of California saying the change will give Americans more time "to live, play, and enjoy life more fully outside of work."
Takano introduced a bill earlier this month that would reduce the standard workweek from 40 hours to 32, effectively ending the traditional five-day cycle.
The legislation follows a shift in workplace trends after the COVID-19 pandemic influenced conversations about what the future of work may look like.
"Workers across the nation are collectively reimagining...
From the CenterAmerica is Ready for the 4-Day Workweek
Americans are ready for a shorter workweek, the results of an exclusive Newsweek poll show. But HR and workforce experts say that such a revolution of the U.S. work schedule might not happen any time soon—if at all.
According to a survey run by Redfield & Wilton Strategies on behalf of Newsweek among a sample of 1,500 adults on March 7-8, 71 percent of Americans support the concept of a four-day workweek. Only 4 percent of respondents oppose it, while 22 percent neither support it nor oppose it. Three percent...
From the RightFour-day workweek gaining steam, restaurant, manufacturing industries say it doesn't work
There is a growing push to make Thursday the new Friday, but not everybody is on board.
A six-month pilot program in the U.S. and Ireland recently concluded and shows that nine out of 10 companies that tested out a shorter week say they will not go back. Roughly 27 companies that underwent the study shrunk the work week without reducing pay for more than 900 employees.
Researchers say the results reveal benefits to workers’ health and productivity, including lower burnout rates, stress levels, staff resignations and sick days.
March 26th, 2023
March 26th, 2023
Discuss & Debate economy and jobs
Truth & Democracy, Session 3 of 3: EducationMarch 29 at 11am PT / 2pm ET Interactivity Foundation