4-day Work Week: Good or Bad?

The four-day workweek can be appealing to both employers and employees particularly the younger generation which believe that work-life balance could contribute to a productive workforce. With a more compressed workweek, employees will still put in the hours and work 9 or 10 hours a day.

 So, is a compressed workweek beneficial in a long run?

What is a four-day workweek?

In the Philippines, the standard full-time workweek consists of 8 hours per day, 5 days a week. However, some companies allow flexible working hours or work-from-home policy. This was proposed by some public officials to ease the growing problem on congested traffic in EDSA. They believe that cutting a day off from the usual working day would have less vehicles on the roads.

For a four-day workweek, you still work 40 hours per week, which means 10 hours per day. It’s not a must to apply this scheme to everyone in the company or fix the off day to be on a Friday or Monday so that the employees get a long weekend. As the employers, it’s completely up to you to decide based on the business model and the employees’ preference.

Pay for a four-day workweek

For most white-collar workers who are not eligible for overtime pay, there won’t be any pay issue related to a shortened workweek. The employee gets the same amount of salary weekly, regardless of the number of hours he or she worked. 

However, if an employee gets his or her pay by the hour or is eligible for overtime pay, the paycheck for an employee who works five eight hour days would be the same as the paycheck for an employee who works four ten-hour days. Hence, their salaries should be be adjusted accordingly to prevent any disputes. This also ensure employees receive what they deserve for the number of hours they put in.

Pros of a four-day workweek

Firstly, one the greatest perks of a 4-day workweek is to have greater work-life balance with more personal time. You get an extra day of no work and no travel which you can spend with your family and friends. Other benefits of having a shortened workweek include reduced stress and lower chance of having a job burnout. For employers, you get to retain your good employees from leaving the company since having an extra day off is an attractive option. 

Cons of a four-day workweek

The four-day workweek is not an one-size-fit-all measure for all businesses and definitely not for every worker. 

It would also make child care more challenging as most daycare centers operate around the common idea that parents work from 8am to 5pm. Hence, they don’t open earlier or stay open until late to accommodate a small group of parents with unusual work schedule.

Many of us might presume that having an extra day off each week will increase our productivity at work but some may also experience the opposite due to the long working hours daily. 

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