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Will 2023 finally be the year the 4-day workweek becomes a reality? And what does that mean for the association space? 

Hey everyone, Tamer here. Welcome to the Sidecar Water Cooler show, the show that will hydrate, educate and motivate you to have a splendid workweek. 

Although not yet widespread in the US, the four-day workweek has been adopted by governments in countries around the world such as Denmark, Iceland, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, and Belgium. 

Why the Interest in a Four-Day Workweek?

After the pandemic, the shift to remote and hybrid work models, the Great Resignation and the recent rise of AI technology tools, it is becoming clear that the traditional work model is just not working anymore.  

Related: Can ChatGPT Become an AI Tool for Associations? Learn More >

As a result, the idea of the 4-day workweek is quickly picking up in the US. According to an article in Business Insider, “If the four-day workweek becomes a reality in the US, you might have artificial intelligence technologies like ChatGPT to thank.” 

Over the past couple of years, hundreds of companies have tried reducing the workweek to 4 days. Many didn’t go back. A study spearheaded by the nonprofit 4 Day Week Global found that out of the 61 companies that participated, 92% decided to continue with the four-day workweek. 

The Benefits of a Four-Day Workweek

So why are those companies and organizations making this change? And What are the actual benefits of a 4-day workweek?

Related: Is The Traditional Work Day Broken? Learn More >

1. Happier Employees 

60% of Workers who participated in the 4-day workweek study have seen an improvement in work/life balance, increased productivity, more flexibility, and reduced stress.  

Needless to say, happier employees are more productive. 

2. Better for Business 

Other than being more attractive for talent, companies reported no change in efficiency and productivity despite the reduced hours.  

Some even saw improvements, with The 4 Day Week Global study reporting a rise in revenue from participating companies of 8.14% compared to the same period in the previous year. 

And last but not least 

3. Better for the Environment 

The carbon footprint is expected to go down with a global shift into the 4-day workweek, particularly due to decrease in transportation. A British study found that the UK would reduce car travel time by 691 million miles every week.   

This is not insignificant. As a matter of fact, all these factors indicate that this could be a shift in the right direction for both employees, employers as well as the entire planet. 

Does it Work for All?

However, that doesn’t mean it’s an easy fit for all organizations.  

For starters, a change in culture is needed, mainly in getting leaders and employees to recognize actual productivity over hours worked. 

Leaders must also be clear about why they are implementing the 4-day workweek. Companies must also reassure employees that they will not be laid off, have their salary reduced, or lose other perks such as paid vacation. 

Finally, they must be ready to implement new workplace practices, such as minimizing meetings and distractions and focusing on deep work. 
A crucial question still remains. Is the four-day workweek right for everyone? 

The answer is no. 

For industries that require a 24/7 presence or continuous operations, such as healthcare, transportation, and emergency services, the four-day workweek may be impractical. However, there are still ways to find balance and flexibility for workers.  

So, what are your thoughts? Is it possible that the four-day workweek will become a reality in 2023? Do you intend to implement it in your organization? What are your main concerns?  

Let’s keep this discussion going. Leave your thoughts and comments below and keep following the sidecar water cooler for more hydrating ideas. 

Tamer Ezzat
Post by Tamer Ezzat
April 20, 2023
Tamer Ezzat is a curious filmmaker with a unique visual style. He studied digital special effects at NYU and has been working in media for over 20 years. When he’s not editing, he enjoys biking and laying on the sandy beaches of Long Island, where he lives with his wife and daughter.