The 4-Day Workweek Isn't a Far-Off Daydream — It's a Looming Reality

woman working with calendar

Pexels / Canva

Profile Picture
Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k
May 29, 2024 at 12:0PM UTC

Three-day weekends sound like a dream, don’t they? For some, they’re already a reality. Now, the California Legislature is considering a bill that will make the workweek four days for businesses with 500+ employees.

The proposal would set the length of the workweek at 32 hours instead of 40. If it passes, it could impact more than 2,000 businesses in the state. California State Assembly’s Labor and Employment Committee is expected to determine whether the bill will move forward this week.

Most U.S. employees would prefer a four-day workweek. 92% percent of workers want this model, according to a Qualtrics survey, saying that they believe their mental health would improve, as would their productivity. 

Some organizations have already adopted a four-day workweek, with positive results. The fintech startup Bolt recently made the model permanent after conducting a successful three-month trial. 84% of employees said their work-life balance and productivity had improved. Meanwhile, others are taking note: job applications have gone up an impressive 30%. 

Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform, is experimenting with a 32-hour workweek as well — the pilot launched recently, with employees working regular schedules Monday through Thursday and having Fridays off. 

“There are so many parts of the workweek that are just a waste of time,” said Banks Benitez, CEO of Denver-based Uncharted. Uncharted adopted a four-day workweek in 2020. 

This is not limited to the U.S. In Iceland, the Reykjavík City Council and the national government conducted trials including more than 2,500 workers, roughly 1% of the country’s working population. After seeing the model’s success, now, 86% of Iceland’s workforce has moved or is moving to a shorter workweek. Other countries in Europe have been experimenting or are planning to experiment with four-day workweeks, too.

Will California become the first U.S. state to make this model a reality for so many workers?

--

This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.

Would you want to switch to a four-day, 32-hour workweek? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

Why women love us:

  • Daily articles on career topics
  • Jobs at companies dedicated to hiring more women
  • Advice and support from an authentic community
  • Events that help you level up in your career
  • Free membership, always