Will the Four Day Workweek Ever Be A Thing?
Will the four day workweek ever be a thing? For some people it already is. I know some area manufacturers have workers working for a four day schedule. And some businesses may let workers have some flexibility to work four ten hour days versus five eight hour days. That said, for the most part, most of us have a five day workweek. Microsoft's four day workweek test in Japan, might be the beginning of that changing for more more of us.
According to KSHB, Microsoft experimented by closing their Japan offices every Friday in August as part of a campaign they called the "Work Life Choice Challenge", which aimed to address the culture of overwork in Japan. Microsoft found it's employees were 40 percent more productive and the company saved money on other resources like electricity. 90 percent of the company's Japanese employees were impacted by the work changes.
When a company like Microsoft tries something like that. And it seems to work, it's a big deal for the business community. That said, I'd point out it was one month. That's it. Whether or not that increased productivity could sustain itself permanently is another question. It's success is a good thing in that it might lead big business to experiment more with four day workweeks, flex schedules, and the like.
That said, I'm not convinced the four day workweek will play out where we work Monday - Thurday and then take Friday, Saturday and Sunday off. For that to happen, I suspect you'd need banks and financial institutions to really sign off on the four day week and be closed on Friday. That would get business in general to adapt to that. And I have no idea how easy or hard that change would be to implement, but I'd bet it would be more difficult than easy.
That kills dream of the three day weekend more than the four day workweek though. I can imagine that businesses could stagger people's work hours, or stagger that third day off to maintain a five work day presense in the office, while giving each of their employees that third day off each week. Of course, it could be on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, which isn't as attractive as being off three days in a row. That said, I wouldn't turn it down, would you?