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. Jeremy G.

    The first time I read through this post I just laughed but the second read through I was like “wait a minute, why not?” I work in the hotel industry, and I am seriously going to ask my boss if I can work the four day workweek. Wish me luck!

    Reply
  2. Applecore

    I worked at a call center for a while and a lot of the available shifts were like this. I worked 4 on, 3 off for a while and it was pretty decent. I currently work in production building gas detection equipment and we’ve been considering switching to a 4 day week there as well.

    Reply
  3. Michael

    The problem with your theory is the data sample. You are assuming that the initial condition of excitement about the three day weekend is continuous. However eventually three day weekends would be as exciting as a typical two day weekend. At this point you would see your productivity begin to decline, and eventually return to the five day week form (which you called an upside down v). However now you are only on a 4 day week meaning that the high point would actually be at the end of day two and start of day three. This would make your best fit trend line cease to function. Naturally as the day goes on your productivity always dims (lets call this the 4 O’clock slums). Then the next morning you never start off with the exact productivity you had the day before (Lets call this the I had a few too many the night before and need some coffee before I can deal with these f***tards effect). So now we see a “v” shape being cut out where this occurs because of our 4 O’clock slums and our F***tard slums. So you’re productivity is decreased over 1/5 of what it would be. (We can argue that this occurs every day however it occurs in the other days of the week the regardless of if it is a four day or a 5 day week so it is negligible)

    Possibly the best solution would be to run approximately 80% of the office on a 5 day week, and then by assigning everybody a four or five digit number- determined by hoe many numbers you need- and using a random number generator to determine the 20% that have a 4 day week. This application can also be used to assign blame when somebody inevitably fucks up. For instance, the original poster, (OP) called his graph an “upside down V.” However any high school student can tell you it is simply a function where F(x)=(-a)Abs(x)+C in which C is his peak productivity, and a determines the slope for the absolute value such that the zeros occur at the exact start and end of the week. We assume naturally that we can not be negatively productive, although personal experience tells me yes we can.

    However I do still agree with OP’s sentiment… I am all for a 4 day work week :)

    Reply
  4. Michael

    I forgot to mention one very important point. We are discussing efficiency (productivity and efficiency we can assume to be close enough), we really need to integrate and talk about actual work done. Without using terms of percent, to say I did 100% of the work when all that needed to be done was to write one e-mail would be misleading. If we look at graphs of the amount of available work we would probably see (as Murphy’s law dictates)that the majority of work is on Friday afternoon. As we know on Friday I want to leave a few minutes early, always, but I never can because there is always more work!

    Reply
  5. Justin Post author

    Wow Michael, thanks for the in depth comment. I really never looked into a typical work week that in depth. For the most part, I very rarely have a 100% productive day. I don’t even think that is technically possible.

    But I will agree, there always seems to be more work. I guess that is a good thing, otherwise we probably wouldn’t get invited back…

    Reply
  6. wally

    The company I work for works 4 day weeks….and it’s great. A 3 day weekend every week, and throw in a holiday like Labor Day and make it 4!

    Reply
  7. Bingkee

    This idea was actually implemented in our country, the Philippines more than a decade ago. First, it was the government offices tried to do it, but never reach to corporate and small business. It was only implemented for just over a month. It did not work for some reasons that people still feel sluggish because of the 10 to 12 hr. work in each day, so by 3rd day and 4th day, they’re already pooped. Plus a lot of customers are really complaining and demanding services on a longer week rather than waiting for another weekend to demand service. So the move was terminated and it was back to 5-day work week.

    Bingkees latest blog post..IF YOU MUST CURSE, USE YOUR OWN NAME

    Reply
  8. Justin Post author

    @ Justin

    Yeah I totally forgot to put my EnreCard back after I made some widget changes. It’s back up there now. Thanks for the heads up!

    Reply
  9. The World's Worst Stock Picker

    I work in a place that has the compressed 10 hour 4 day schedule. I work 7-6. it has some great advantages.

    1. long weekends specially when monday is a holiday.
    2. i save on gas and communting time.

    The disadvantages:

    1. I enter very early.
    2. When I get home I am exhausted and it is usually around 7-8 pm.

    Reply
  10. Word Watcher

    I think it’s a completely feasible plan, whether you’re serious or not. The Four Day week is already used effectively at many big businesses, including HP. Give it a try. My fiancee is thinking about proposing much the same thing to his employer – he works as a maintenance person for a property management company and often works overtime, which of course they don’t want to pay…why not just cut one of the days out of his schedule and make those extra daily hours part of his schedule? It’s not that there’s too much work to do – it’s that many of the jobs need to be finished same-day. So working a ten hour shift would probably accomplish a lot, at least in his situation.

    Word Watcher: Word Nerding At Its Best.

    Reply
  11. Justin Post author

    @ Word Watcher

    Thanks for the comment. Luckily now that I have given my two week notice, I really do not have to worry about how many “days” are in my work week. I can work at my own pace so long as I get everything that I need done to be successful.

    I do think for companies are moving to it, especially ones like your fiance works for. Its better for them to pay for 4 long days and not have to pay overtime.

    Reply
  12. Cozy Kittens

    The Green Party proposed a similar idea in Germany sometime back. There proposal did involve a lower work week. Some companies do allow 40hr, 4 day work weeks and I haven’t heard anything negative about that. Good luck on the new job.

    Reply
  13. AspireNow

    You’re still a slave to whatever job when you work 4/10 versus 5/8 shifts. Nurses do it and they’re zombies when they’re working, party animals when they’re not. Personally, I’m for the “create your own schedule by owning the damn place” work schedule.

    Reply
  14. Frank

    That’s an awesome idea really, I’m all for a 4 day work week where I can pound out some long days and enjoy a longer weekend. I always feel that a 5 day work week is just a bit draining and my productivity is exactly like you showed yours to be.

    Reply
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  17. pravesh

    hey why two days weekends dont pump you and your graph is too low on monday ..
    although i like the idea of 3days weekends :)

    Reply

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