The Hustle

I scream, you scream, we all scream for a 4-day workweek?

Think you deserve some time off? A growing number of companies agree.


August 13, 2020

In the early 1930s, the US considered adopting a universal 30-hour work week. Congress killed the bill — and with it, your dreams of downing margaritas every Friday at noon.

Now everyone’s buzzing about a 4-day work week — Andrew Yang, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, a Washington State senator.

With workers burnt out from… *gestures at everything*… companies like Buffer are trying it out.

Here’s what a 4-day week looks like

Some definitions say a 4-day week = 10-hour days. But there’s another version — 32 hours over 4 days, with full-time benefits.

The logic of 32? Better-rested and happier employees are so much more productive that they don’t need a 5th day.

But does the 4-day week work? The data is mixed:

Here’s one thing to remember

Workers aren’t seeing rewards for getting more done.

You might assume that more productivity translates to more time off or better pay. We’ve done the first part: Worker productivity went up 5% between 1987 and 2015.

But the pro-4-day crowd points out that the second step never happened — workers’ pay went up only 2%, and their hours never went down.

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