top of page
  • Writer's pictureHeather

Would A 4 Day Work Week Be Better For Our Health

Feel like our weekends are gone in the blink of an eye? We toil away all week, and then we barely get a chance to catch up on sleep before it’s Monday again. Our laundry hamper is still full, we didn’t have time to meal prep, and we never got around to cleaning the oven.

We’re not alone. People all over the world are starting to consider implementing a 4-day work week to allow employees more time to rest, hang out with friends and family, and catch up on household chores. Rumor has it that going from a 40-hour work week to a 32-hour work week won’t even have a negative impact on productivity.

Sounds like a win-win situation, right? The 4-day work week could be the key to solving all our problems…or it might just create new ones. Fortunately, we can look to those who have gone before us for help making this decision.

Several of the world’s most productive countries, including Norway, Belgium, Denmark, France, and Germany, work an average of less than 30 hours per week. This corroborates the findings of Stanford University, which reveal a relationship between increased productivity and decreased working hours.

But is a 4-day work week better for our health? Let’s review some of the positive aspects of this idea:

  • Increased productivity while at work. Studies have shown when we work a 40-hour week, most employees are only productive for around 6 of those 8 hours a day. With a 4 day a week schedule, those same employees are productive closer to the full 8 hours.

  • Less stress – working 4 days a week leaves 3 days for leisure and family activities. More rest and more relaxation allow our body and mind to rejuvenate over 3-day weekends.

  • Better family engagement – with 3 days to spend together families can plan more short vacations or camping trips to get away. Family studies show children do better the more time they spend with their parents in the formative years.

  • Lowered blood pressure, lowered inflammation, and more rest from repetitive actions at work greatly increase our ability to stay healthy and uninjured during our working careers.

Sounds great, are there any disadvantages to a 4-day work week?

  • If all workers go to a 4-day work week, we may have difficulty finding service industry businesses open when we most want them. Auto repair shops, healthcare facilities, restaurants and grocery stores are just a few of the many businesses we take for granted will be open. If the workers in these industries only work 4-days a week, the businesses might be closed when we want to use them.

  • Only being open 4-days a week can shift the costs of many businesses. Paying to keep buildings heated, cooled and the lights turned on for those 3 days the employees don’t show up, can lead to overhead expenses getting out of control.

  • Customer satisfaction can go down tremendously. If government offices are closed for 3-day weekends as well, what happens when we want to get some things taken care of on those days? What if we need our car repaired but the shop is closed for the next 3 days?

There are many considerations and moving parts in thinking about a 4-day work week. Who gets to do it and who must continue working 5 or 6 or 7 days a week? Would it be good for our health? I guess it depends on who we ask.


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page