Re-visiting the Four-Day Workweek

Part of the silver lining of experiencing a horrendous global pandemic has been people re-examining how they do things. I referenced Joe Pinsker’s article for The Atlantic last year, which is well worth a read if you haven’t checked it out already.

Well, Alex Christian over at the BBC has an article exploring what’s going right, what’s going wrong, and some of the challenges of moving to a four-day workweek. The main issue is making sure that expectations are managed for what workload can be done in four days, something that will need to be addressed workplace by workplace and worker by worker.

Four-day workweeks already exist for a lot of American workplaces thanks to Monday (and occasionally other weekday) holidays. And any veteran office denizen has seen their workplace try and cram 5 days’ worth of work into 32. Project managers often try and get people to think in terms of “32 hours” vs. “40 hours,” but veteran project managers will also tell you of the problems of getting people to acknowledge project schedule constraints (and the people who quip, “who works only 40 hours a week?” are invariably the ones who don’t have to pay overtime and watch for cost overruns on projects).

So it’ll be interesting to see what happens. Perhaps they’ll be another article for me to link to next year.

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