We can all use an extra day off from work. But sometimes, even then, the stress and anxiety of having to catch up on work (or not knowing what you’ll return to) can make the day off seem useless. Now that a 4 day work week practice is in the talks, many employees (and employers) have a lot to say about this.

What are the Potential Benefits of Having a 4 Day Work Week Schedule?

You won’t feel as burnt out

Since the pandemic, many employees found that coping with the demands of the industries they’re in became increasingly difficult. And a Time Magazine article also states that those who already started working for only 4 days a week found themselves happier and less stressed out with their jobs. 

You’ll have more time for your family (and other endeavors)

It’s always been a struggle to find the balance between life and work — add the fact that there are only 2 days to do other activities and spend time with our loved ones. Therefore, if given an extra day to do those, employees may find the work-life equilibrium easier than before.

It can reduce carbon footprint

Driving to work 5 days a week isn’t beneficial to the planet. And one extra day without work is an extra day of not having to commute. Thus, the emissions that automobiles produce will significantly lessen — and because of this, it can help reduce the carbon footprint.

Employers benefit from a more motivated, rested workforce

It’s not just employees who can benefit from a shorter work week, but employers as well. A happy workforce can result in higher productivity, increased sales, less burnout, and lower turnover rates — all of which can have a tremendous impact on a company’s bottom line. A better work-life balance ultimately leads to higher morale in the workplace and could even generate more jobs to help boost the economy.

Which Other Countries Pursuing (or Following) a 4 Day Work Week System?

The 4 day work week practice isn’t exactly a new concept. Some countries already encourage this to be the new norm. And these countries’ employees are the ones who were reported to have better work satisfaction. But there are also a few companies in the US that have been implementing this system.

Here are a few countries and their stance on shortening the work week:


Iceland is one of the 4 day work week front runners. It’s said that around 2,500 people participated in the “4 day work week pilot” — and its success changed the previous 40 hours/week schedule. Right now, over 90% of the population is benefitting from reduced work hours.


A good number of employees in Denmark are also enjoying shorter work hours. Currently, the average number of weekly hours of work in the country is only 33 — this makes it the 2nd shortest work week in the world.


The Spanish government seems to be open to the idea of having shorter work weeks for their residents. The country already invested €50 million (or around $60 million) to fund the 4 day work week trial (which should take 3 years to complete).


Back in 2019, Japan released recommended guidelines for companies to encourage a 4 day work week schedule for its employees. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck the country, they then proposed that the initial guidelines be pushed on a nationwide scale instead.


Though Switzerland hasn’t participated in a 4 day work week program yet, there are a few businesses in the country that already practice it.


Germany has an average of 34 hours/work week — one of the shortest in the world. Many German workforces believe that the 4 day work week system is beneficial from an economic standpoint; they believe that lessening the number of work hours will decrease the need to lay off employees given the worldwide recession.

United Kingdom

The UK has avid 4 day work week supporters. Last December 2022, the University of Cambridge completed its 4 day work week trial — it’s reported to be an “overwhelming success.”

USA and Canada

Currently, around 2,000 employees (and 35 companies) in The United States and Canada are experimenting with the 4 day work week program. There haven’t been any conclusions as to the feasibility of this type of work schedule yet.


Most employees from all over the world can use an extra day off. It’s widely believed to be beneficial for a person — it gives them a break from the stresses of their job, their errands and hobbies can be engaged in more efficiently and enjoyably, and they can spend more time with their loved ones. Plus, it can also be good for the environment as there will be less air pollution from cars. Right now, several countries have already adopted the 4 day work week system. And most of the employees say that they’re happier with this type of schedule.

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