The concept of a 4-day work week is reshaping the modern workplace, challenging long-held beliefs about productivity and efficiency. With companies around the globe experimenting this shorter workweeks, initial findings are compelling: a significant boost in employee satisfaction without a drop in output.

Studies reveal that nearly 82% of businesses report increased productivity and happier employees when adopting shorter workweeks. This evolving model addresses the pressing need for a better work-life balance and presents a solution to the pervasive issue of workplace burnout.

By exploring the benefits of a 4-day work week for both employers and employees, this article unveils how this paradigm shift could redefine success and fulfillment in the modern workplace.

We will cover the following topics:

  • 4-Day Workweek Benefits - For Employer
    • Increased Job Applications
    • Enhanced Productivity
    • Reduced Absenteeism
    • Increased Staff Retention
    • Reduced Carbon Footprint
    • Reduced Overhead Costs
  • 4-day Workweek Benefits - For Employees
    • Improved Mental and Physical Health
    • Better Work-Life Balance
    • Improved Gender Equality
    • Reduced Childcare Costs


4-Day Workweek Benefits - For Employer

Let's explore how a 4-day workweek can be a game-changer for businesses, enhancing everything from operational efficiency to talent acquisition and retention.

1. Increased Job Applications

Implementing a 4-day work week can significantly boost an employer's attractiveness in the job market. This innovative work schedule appeals to a broad spectrum of job seekers for several compelling reasons:

  • Attracts Top Talent: A 4-day work week stands out in job listings, drawing the attention of highly skilled professionals looking for a better work-life balance.
  • Competitive Edge: Companies offering a shorter workweek differentiate themselves from others, making them more appealing to potential employees.
  • Enhanced Brand Image: Adopting a 4-day work week can improve a company's image, showcasing it as an innovative and employee-centric organization.
  • Global Appeal: This flexible work model can attract applications from around the world, widening the talent pool.

A study by ZipRecruiter reveals that job postings for 4-day weeks attract 15% more applicants on average compared to traditional 5-day week jobs. 

Another study by shows a 33% to 70% rise in applications for 4-day roles compared to a traditional 5-day week. Moreover, the "visitor to applicant rate" for 4-day positions increases from the typical 10.5% in the traditional workweek to 14% to 18%, showing a greater interest from job viewers to applicants.

postings mentioning 4 day workweeks

Source: Revelio Labs


2. Enhanced Productivity

Numerous studies indicate that adopting a 4-day workweek can significantly boost employee output and efficiency. This aligns with Parkinson's Law, the concept that "the amount of work required adjusts to the time available for its completion." 

A compelling example of this is Microsoft's experiment in Japan, where transitioning to a 4-day work week led to an impressive 40% uptick in productivity. Similarly, Buffer's 2021 pilot observed nearly a twofold rise in productivity among their Infrastructure and Mobile teams. Furthermore, Perpetual Guardian also witnessed a 20% productivity uplift during their 4-day week trial. 

Here's how this innovative schedule enhances productivity:

  • Focused Work: Employees prioritize tasks better, leading to more accomplishments in less time.
  • Reduced Burnout: Extra rest cuts down on burnout, ensuring employees are more effective when they work.
  • Employee Engagement: The prospect of a shorter work week increases job satisfaction, translating into higher engagement.
  • Innovation Boost: A balanced work-life encourages creativity, with employees bringing fresh ideas after their extended break.

Looking at a national perspective, the Netherlands has decreased average working hours over the past three decades, which has coincided with an approximate 25% boost in productivity.

3. Reduced Absenteeism

The transition to a 4-day work week can lead to a significant decrease in employee absenteeism. Here's how:

  • Improved Health: The extra day off allows employees more time to recover and manage health issues, leading to fewer sick days.
  • Enhanced Well-being: A better work-life balance boosts overall well-being, reducing stress-related absences.
  • Increased Morale: Higher job satisfaction from a shorter work week can decrease the instances of absenteeism due to disengagement.
  • Flexible Scheduling: The 4-day model offers more flexibility, enabling employees to attend to personal matters without impacting work.

Based on findings from Henley Business School, companies implementing a 4-day work week observe a 62% reduction in employee sick leave

Moreover, BunnyStudio's recent trial also highlighted a decline in sick leave occurrences, attributing this change to the additional rest day provided by the new schedule.

4 day week 2023 uk results

Results from the UK 4 day work week pilot


4. Increased Staff Retention

Shifting to a 4-day work week can lead to higher employee retention rates. Here are the key reasons:

  • Work-Life Balance: Employees enjoy a better balance between their professional and personal lives, making them more likely to stay with the company.
  • Employee Satisfaction: The additional day off each week boosts job satisfaction, reducing the desire to seek employment elsewhere.
  • Reduced Stress: A shorter work week can lead to lower stress levels, contributing to higher retention as employees feel more valued and supported.
  • Loyalty and Commitment: The commitment to employee well-being demonstrated by adopting a 4-day week fosters a sense of loyalty among staff.

MRL Consulting Group, an international recruitment firm, has experienced a 95% staff retention rate since initiating a four-day workweek pilot, 

This success is mirrored by other businesses that have adopted the shorter workweek. For instance, Gracefruit, a soap production company, reported, "Employees are thrilled with the three-day weekends, contributing significantly to our low staff turnover. In fact, we haven't had to replace any staff members for the last six years." 

5. Reduced Carbon Footprint

Adopting a 4-day work week contributes to environmental sustainability by lowering the carbon footprint of businesses. Here's how:

  • Reduced Commute Emissions: Cutting down on one workday per week means fewer cars on the road, leading to a noticeable decrease in carbon emissions from commuting.
  • Promotion of Eco-Friendly Habits: The new schedule often encourages both the organization and its employees to adopt more sustainable practices, like digital meetings over travel, further diminishing the carbon footprint.
  • Cultural Shift Towards Sustainability: Embracing a shorter work week can enhance environmental consciousness among employees, fostering a workplace culture that values and actively contributes to sustainability efforts.

A study conducted by Platform London suggests that transitioning to a 4-day work week could decrease a nation's carbon emissions by over 20%. The research indicates that adopting this work model by 2025 could cut carbon emissions by 127 million tonnes, an amount comparable to eliminating all private cars from the roads.

6. Reduced Overhead Costs

Moving to a 4-day work week can lead to substantial savings in overhead expenses for employers. Key areas of cost reduction include:

  • Utility Savings: Operating the office one less day per week means significant reductions in electricity, water, and heating/cooling expenses.
  • Office Supplies and Maintenance: Less time in the office translates to slower depletion of office supplies and reduced wear and tear on office equipment and facilities.
  • Transportation Subsidies: Companies that offer transportation benefits may see reduced costs due to fewer commuting days.
  • Remote Work Infrastructure: With a compressed work week, companies might further embrace remote work, decreasing the need for large physical office spaces and associated costs.

In their 2019 pilot, Microsoft reported substantial reductions in resource consumption, noting a 59% decrease in the number of pages printed and a 23% drop in energy consumption.

4-day Workweek Benefits - For Employees

Let's examine how a 4-day workweek can be a game-changer for businesses, enhancing everything from operational efficiency to talent acquisition and retention.

1. Improved Mental and Physical Health

Switching to a 4-day work week can greatly enhance employees' well-being. Here are the primary benefits:

  • Stress Reduction: A shorter work week significantly lowers stress levels, contributing to better mental health and decreased risk of stress-related illnesses.
  • Increased Rest: An extra day off provides more time for rest and recuperation, leading to improved physical health and reduced fatigue.
  • More Time for Physical Activity: With an additional day off, employees have more opportunities to engage in physical exercise, promoting better health and well-being.

The majority of businesses that have experimented with a 4-day work week have observed a notable increase in employee happiness following the change, accompanied by widespread reports of reduced stress levels. 

According to a Henley Business School report, 75% of companies implementing a 4-day week noticed an uptick in employee satisfaction, whereas 78% of businesses saw a decrease in stress among their workforce.

2. Better Work-Life Balance

Adopting a 4-day work week significantly enhances the equilibrium between professional commitments and personal life. Here's how:

  • More Personal Time: Employees gain an extra day each week to spend on hobbies, relaxation, or time with family and friends, enriching their personal lives.
  • Reduced Burnout: The additional day off helps prevent work-related burnout, ensuring employees remain motivated and engaged.
  • Enhanced Flexibility: A shorter work week provides greater flexibility for managing personal responsibilities, such as appointments and errands, without impacting work.
  • Increased Satisfaction: The improved balance between work and personal activities leads to higher overall life satisfaction and happiness.

Perpetual Guardian, a company based in New Zealand, conducted a trial of the 4-day work week and discovered that 78% of their employees were able to achieve a more effective balance between their work and personal life.

3. Improved Gender Equality

The shift to a 4-day work week can play a significant role in advancing gender equality in the workplace. Here are the key ways this change contributes:

  • Easier Work-Family Balance: With an extra day off, both men and women find it easier to share domestic responsibilities more equitably, helping to level the playing field at home and work.
  • Increased Opportunities for Women: A more flexible schedule can particularly benefit women, who often juggle work and family commitments, leading to enhanced career advancement opportunities.
  • Reduced Gender Bias: The adoption of a 4-day work week challenges traditional work norms and can help reduce unconscious bias by normalizing flexible work arrangements for all, regardless of gender.
  • Support for Working Parents: A shorter work week can be especially beneficial for working parents, providing them with more time to manage childcare without compromising their professional growth.

During a trial involving 3,000 participants in the UK for a 4-day work week, men increased the time they dedicated to childcare by 27%, compared to a 13% increase for women.

4. Reduced Childcare Costs

Switching to a 4-day work week can significantly cut down on childcare expenses for employees. Here's how this benefit unfolds:

  • Fewer Days of Care Needed: With one less workday each week, parents require childcare for fewer days, directly reducing weekly childcare costs.
  • Increased Parental Care: The additional day off allows parents to spend more time with their children, reducing the need for external childcare services.
  • Flexible Scheduling: A shorter work week offers parents more flexibility to arrange childcare around their work schedule, potentially avoiding peak hours that may incur higher rates.
  • Better Quality Family Time: The extra day off not only saves money on childcare but also enhances the quality of time parents spend with their children, contributing to better family well-being.

On average, enrolling one child in a daycare center in the USA costs $340 weekly, while the expense for two children amounts to $640. Adopting a 4-day work week can significantly reduce this expense, potentially saving families with two children in daycare about $6,500 annually by decreasing the number of days they require childcare services.

Summing Up

The shift to a 4-day workweek offers notable benefits for employers and employees alike, fostering a culture of efficiency, well-being, and work-life balance. This model not only enhances productivity but also enriches personal lives, making it a win-win for the modern workforce.

For those inspired to explore this transformative work model further, provides a gateway to numerous 4-day workweek job opportunities and insightful career advice.

A list of the latest 4 day week jobs: Find 4 day week jobs

Whether you're an employer contemplating this shift or an employee seeking a more balanced life, 4DayWeek is your resource for making the transition a reality.

Explore the possibilities and take the first step towards redefining work on your terms.

Written by Phil McParlane, founder of