In the News

Does a Four-Day Week Lift Productivity?

Graham Watson

22nd February 2023

A trial involving 61 firms and over 3,000 workers has seemed to validate the notion that a four-day working week has helped boost productivity at the margin.

The report does at least accept that the firms that opted to join the trial were among the most likely to embrace the concept and, therefore, presumably be the most likely to benefit.

However, it will be interesting to see if the research encourages other firms to opt for this sort of approach. Alas, I suspect schools won't...

A shorter working week may increase labor productivity for several reasons:

  1. Improved Work-Life Balance: Employees who have more time to rest, relax and spend time with family and friends tend to be happier and more motivated. This, in turn, can lead to increased productivity when they are at work.
  2. Reduced Burnout: Overworked employees are more likely to experience burnout, which can lead to decreased productivity, absenteeism, and higher staff turnover. A shorter working week can help to prevent burnout by providing employees with adequate time to recharge and rejuvenate.
  3. Increased Efficiency: Employees who work shorter hours may be more focused and efficient during their working hours, as they are aware that they have limited time to complete their tasks. This can lead to improved productivity, as they are more likely to use their time effectively and avoid procrastination.
  4. Improved Health and Well-being: A shorter working week may also lead to improved health and well-being for employees. With more time to exercise, rest, and engage in leisure activities, employees may experience less stress and fatigue, leading to improved overall health and better performance at work.

Graham Watson

Graham Watson has taught Economics for over twenty years. He contributes to tutor2u, reads voraciously and is interested in all aspects of Teaching and Learning.

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