Coronavirus Silver Lining: Permanently Shorter Workweeks?

January 26, 2021

Fresno Financial Consultant News

While technology and engineering advances have exponentially increased productivity throughout the past century, 40-hour workweeks are still the norm. Meanwhile, countless companies throughout the U.S. and the world have found that shorter workweeks make employees more productive.

Studies show that a four-day week can boost productivity by as much as 40%. Workers spend their limited time focused on the most important tasks to get their job done and less time sitting in lengthy meetings, chatting, emailing and surfing the web. Better yet, a study by Henley Business School found that 77% of workers report that the four-day workweek improved their quality of life.1

Reducing work hours also happens to be good for the environment. Thousands of office buildings closed one extra day a week can significantly reduce carbon emissions associated with utilities and commutes. Some companies implemented shorter workweeks as a short-term solution during the pandemic. However, if more businesses permanently transitioned to this labor model, it could help resolve longer-term issues related to productivity, burnout and work-life balance.

1 Alex Soojung-Kim Pang. The Atlantic. April 30, 2020. “To Safely Reopen, Make the Workweek Shorter. Then Keep It Shorter.” https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/04/safely-reopen-make-workweek-shorter/610906/. Accessed June 2, 2020.