Introducing the Four Day Work Week

I was reading around today and came across an article about Utah state jobs. It appears that they are moving to a 4 day work week for many state workers to save money on energy costs. By shutting down the buildings on Friday, they can reduce the costs by 1/5th but still be just as effective.This got me thinking, why can’t I work a 4 day week? I decided to come up with a proposal on why this would be better.

My Proposal

I could easily get all my work done with 4 10 hour days. I would actually be even more effective. I put together some diagrams showing my productivity throughout the week.

5 Day Work Week

As you can clearly see, the productivity percentage of my typical week is an upside down V. I come in on Monday and barely move, peak on Wednesday, and am back down to almost nothing by Friday. Not very effective if you ask me.

4 Day Work Week

Now look at that! If I worked only 4 days a week, the overall productivity levels would be much higher. By Thursday, I would be pumped about the 3 day weekend coming up. That would push my productivity through the roof each week.

The Benefits

Cut Back On Gas By 1/5th

I would save money on gas and have less drive time every week. This would make my job so much easier to do.

3 Day Weekends

From then on, every weekend would be a 3 day weekend. That would be awesome! I could take that many more road trips without having to use up my vacation time. If I wanted to take a longer vacation, I could request Monday off and have 4 days to travel. Not bad!

Same Hours, Same Pay

Since I would move from an 8 hour day (okay it is really like 6), to a 10 hour day, I would still get my 40 hours in every week. So my benefits and pay would not change one bit. Perfect!

If That Doesn’t Work…

How about one day of telecommuting a week? I would still be working all 5 days, but one would be remotely. Working in the IT field, I could easily find enough stuff to do by logging in to my work PC remotely.

I could spend my whole day writing up trouble tickets and scheduling appointments for the rest of the week. It would really make it that much easier to keep everything organized. It is almost impossible for me to sit at my desk and take care of these things. Everytime I try to create a trouble ticket someone stops by asking a question.

The hardest part is going to be selling this idea to the company I work for. So I still have a few quarks I need to iron out.

What Do you think?

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72 thoughts on “Introducing the Four Day Work Week

  1. Justin Post author

    I wish I was working in Holland, that sounds like a great work schedule. Even though it is only 4 hours less than I work, it would still feel a lot better.

  2. Alan Seeger

    This really isn’t a new concept. I worked a 4 day work week, 10 hours a day, for quite some time when I was at SBC (now AT&T) back in the late 80s and early 90s.

  3. Justin Post author

    Yeah I know it is pretty common, I have actually done a similar schedule when I worked a summer job back in college. I just wish it was more common, but hopefully with the price of gas going up people will start to acknowledge it more.

  4. Rocker Chick

    Anybody aware of the four-hour-work-week book by Tim Ferris? One thing I really like about this book is the redefinition of ‘lazy’ and of ‘productive’. I would so rather put in just 4 hours a week and do whatever else with my time. I have an enourmous list of things I rather be doing than sitting at my desk (as I am now) pretending to be busy (there’s not much to do at the office right now) just so that I can keep this job…until I figure out how to just work 4 hours a week. Just wondering if anybody is aware of Tim Ferris’ book.

  5. Justin Post author

    Rocker Chick,

    I totally agree with you. I wish I could just come in, get all of my things done, and then leave as I wish. The majority of my time at work is spend “looking busy”, which is a total waste of my time, and the companies time. There are not many work days where I actually do 8 hours of solid work, so why should I have to sit at my computer for 8 hours everyday to get paid the same? It sucks…

    We need to find a solution.

  6. Jim

    Good plan my company was just talking about doing this, I went on an interview with a company that works 9 hour days with every other Friday off.

  7. Rocker Chick


    I sooo agree with you Justin :-) In fact, in the book Tim Ferris mentions some Italian economist that coined the 20/80 principle or something like that. The principle states that 20% yields 80% and viceversa. If this principle is applied to our work weeks, I’d be willing to bet that 20% of the time we put into our work yields 80% of the results…and 80% time at the office only yields 20% of actual prodcutive results. I guess this 40+ hour work week comes from a break workers got back in the Industrial Revolution, when they unionized and the schedule went from working ’til you dropped everyday, to only 40 hours a week. But obviously this 40 hour week is made up…not like it’s in the bible that we ought to work 40 hours, so why not just work 20 hours or less and get paid the same? I mean, I have a salary, and don’t get paid by the hour so, shouldn’t my work be measured by my results whether I’m at the office 40 hours a week? The only other country we are competing against in terms of “how many hour we put into work/school” is Japan and regardless of their productivity, there are many first world countries with shorter work weeks and as productive if not more productive than the US. So I say we all ought to ask our bosses to let us telecommute alltogether (for those industries that can get away with this of course.) This way, our work will have to be measured by results rather than by looking busy :-)

  8. Justin Post author

    Yeah, I never really thought about that. I don’t think I would get sick of it as long as I got the same pay since my productivity would still be the same. It would just give me that much extra time to do the things I enjoy, such as golf, travel, etc.

  9. SapphireMind

    I’m an RN, and work in a hospital. I have a 3 day work week – I’m still considered full time by working 36 hours a week. Even when I worked 40 hours, it was only a 4 day. I like it.

    And it actually works better for 24/hour industries than it does white collar.

  10. carolyn

    I sure would like a 4 day work week, I stand on my feet all day and to only work 4 days a week it would be nice.

  11. cindy

    When I first saw those graphs I wondered where the heck you got this so called “data” from.

    Then I saw you put it in the humor category, and I couldn’t help but laugh. Most office jobs are so in to pretty diagrams and presentations, I just pictured it as being hilarious if you were to walk in to management with these fake graphs blown up on poster boards with an easel.

    It would be a funny video to see…

  12. John

    If I were your boss and you showed me your charts above, I would not just give you a three day weekend, but a seven day weekend. In a normal week you start at 10 percent effectiveness Monday morning and don’t even reach half-way decent until noon on Tuesday? Then by noon the next day you’re already on the downhill slide past 50 percent again? You, sir, are a wastrel.

  13. Justin Post author

    Ha Ha, I would love a 7 day weekend. The funny thing is, even with those productivity levels, I still exceed expectations. I’ve noticed that there are a lot of slackers in an office setting, and many of them spend time appearing to be busy.

    But hey,I’m not that much of a slacker, I manage to maintain this blog at work.:)

  14. John

    I’m laughing WITH you. Studies show my productivity hits negative numbers most days. I lead a three man crew and on days I’m not there, more work gets done than on days I am. I’m considering asking my boss for a raise to stay home.

  15. Elathen

    I actually worked a job that was 40/week and 10 hr days. The extra two hours were completely unnoticeable and I had 3 day weekends. It was easily the most amazing job I ever had; then they changed to a typical 8 hour schedule and suddenly the same job turned into toil. It is startling how significantly more stressful something can be when it’s drawn out rather than condensed.

  16. Wade

    OK, I’m in. From now on, please don’t email, call, IM, knock, yell, holler, mail, tweet, request, summon, yell at, or otherwise arouse me on Friday.

    Do you think this will work for Jury Duty too?

  17. Harold

    Like the nurse above,I also work in a hospital three days a week,twelve hour shifts. I can’t believe all the years I wasted working five eights!
    I have just one question.You point out the gas you’d save by working one less day and then proceed to talk about the day trips you’d be able to take. Don’t the day trips cancel out the gas savings?

  18. Justin Post author

    Well I take the day trips on weekends regardless, so I could use the gas I saved by not working one day to go on a trip. But those trips might start fading out if gas keeps going up. I guess I need a bicycle ASAP lol.

  19. DillyDally

    This sounds like a great idea!

    (Personally I prefer the Nil Day Working Week, as I have just retired…)

  20. Kelly

    One thing you have to consider is the 8 hours vs 10 hrs a day for a 4 day workweek. Add to that the time spent getting ready in the morning, commute time and lunch, and you may have a 13 or 14 hour day on tap. It can get kind of long.

    I’ve worked my 40 hr weeks in a 5 week period, a 4 day period and also a 3 day period. In a 4 day workweek, if you have regular things you need to do at home after you get off work – and if you have to do these things on a daily basis – you may find yourself really getting squeezed for time. Granted, you have those three days off, but you have 2 hours less per night the other 4 nights to shop, make dinner, clean house, do laundry, take care of pets, do homework, read, play on the computer, go to meetings, etc.

    I consider 4 ten hour days the cut off point. After that, if you start squeezing the same or even fewer hours into a 3 day week, yes, you have a wonderful 4 day weekend but you’re going to be so tired that the first weekend day you’re off, you’re going to use it all for sleeping and now you’re back to a 3 day weekend.

    In addition, during the 3 days you’re working you will be totally oblivious to anything else. For three days you’ll just work and sleep. You may be too tired to sit up and watch TV, take the garbage out or do the dishes for those three days. You don’t schedule anything because you know there won’t be any spare time. If you have friends or family you don’t work with, you won’t be seeing them during these 3 days. If you’re single, it’s a great schedule. If not, it can be a ball buster.

    Just something to keep in mind when we’re considering shorter workweeks. Course, now if they would just make a workweek 20 hours long with 40 hours pay, I’d be all over it.

  21. Alina

    Yes!! I’ve been working 10-11 hours 4 days a week recently (because I’ve been spending weekends abroad) and it makes completely no difference from a 5 day work week. Really.


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