Company Formation

What is the 4-day working week?

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You are probably more familiar with the 5-day working week, or even 6 if you work on Saturdays. Truth be told, with the whole world moving towards remote jobs, a 4-day working week may soon become a norm earlier and faster than expected.

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Answer adeosun
Nov 13, 22 · min read
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If your work 8 hours per day, a 5-day working week means 40 hours a week. When we are now talking about a 4-day working week, it is easy to wonder if you would have to work 10 hours per day to make up for the day off.

That is not true though. The 4-day working week is being pushed to the parliament because people are becoming more and more stressed, creating a lot of health-related problems that health workers have to deal with every day.

Thanks to technology, our very good friend, artificial intelligence are making jobs easier and that may just help reduce the number of hours human have to work. Companies will not even have to feel a reduction in their productivity for that matter.

Let’s take a closer look at the 4-day working week, its possibilities, and its impact on society at large. Enjoy.

What does a 4-day working week mean?

For workers in the UK, a 4-day working week means 32 hours of work while it is 28 for workers in the USA. Most importantly, it means that workers will only have to work for 4 days in the week and then have 3 days free for the weekend (in general Friday, Saturday and Sunday).

Also, the policy still under consideration in the UK is that workers will be allowed to request a 4-day workweek allowance from their employers. In such instances, they will compress their 40 hours into 4 days which means 10 hours of work per day instead of 8.

Of course, this proposal negates the reasoning for advocating for a reduction in the number of days to work per week in the first place. The fact that employers can choose to deny a such request from their employers is even less encouraging.

That notwithstanding, private companies are beginning to embrace this radical change. With more people choosing to work for themselves by freelancing, a 4-day working week is becoming more and more a reality.

This is because, at some point, people may just decide to work for companies and businesses as freelancers instead of as full staff to give them the room they need to rest.

What are the benefits of the 4-day working week?

If and whenever a 4-day working week becomes a reality in the UK, there are benefits that will go along with it, both to the employees, employers, and society at large. They are:

  1. Reduced stress and improved health – work-related stress has been on the rise in present times. This is why the advocacy for a 4-day working week is becoming louder. When you work less, you have more time to rest and reduce health risks.
  2. Increased productivity – when you have time to rest, you can be more productive. You probably learnt from high school economics what is called the law of diminishing returns. Simply put, this law means that there is a level you get to in investment where more investment will not return more profit. Applying that to workers’ productivity at work simply means that, the more hours people put in at work, the less likely it is that they are going to be ultimately productive. You can only be productive when you are getting results and that is difficult to do when you are stressed. 
  3. Improved morale – working for lesser hours a week can boost employees' morale to deliver their best rather than doing their jobs grudgingly and with a low drive.
  4. Reduces the rate at which people call in sick anyway – most often, people call in sick to work even when they are not sick because they needed to attend to personal things that would not be possible if they were to go to work. When you have a reduced number of days to work, you can plan your personal time around the 3 days of rest.
  5. Helps build family life – have you noticed that people who are devoted to their jobs tend to have less time to commit to family? You cannot eat your cake and have it. Everybody is entitled to 24 hours a day and no more. With a 4-day working week, you can have a reduced number of hours at work and spend the rest of the time with family and friends. This could even help to build society.
  6. Reduces the number of patients health workers have to attend to – when people no more have work-related burnouts, health workers themselves will have less to do. Some doctors have to be on call for 48 hours nonstop just to attend to patients.
  7. Can reduce recruitment crisis – the reason why freelancing is becoming popular is that people are realising that they can work fewer hours for higher pay. Thus, people leave highly respected professions to freelance. Some don’t even bother looking for jobs. What that means is that there will soon come a time when there would be jobs but nobody to do them. It is already happening as a little number of workers are becoming overworked due because there are just not enough people available to do the jobs. Companies like Microsoft, Unilever, Atom Bank, and the British arm of the Canon company have tried the 4-day work week for their workers. Not only did they increase productivity, but they had also more people apply for jobs in their companies immediately after they made the announcement to reduce working hours.

What is the impact of the 4-day working week on society and ultimate productivity?

If you have read the article so far, you will realise that there are a lot of benefits to be garnered from working a reduced number of hours in a week. Now, let’s take a look at how a 4-day work week could impact the environment and society.

  1. Impact on society – more family time. This has been listed in the advantages and it is a major factor. Many children turn to the streets because their parents do not have time for them. With reduced working days in a week, parents can have time for their kids and that could really do a lot to reduce social vices in our society at large.
  2. Impact on the environment – reduced carbon emissions and consequently global warming. When people don’t have to commute to work every day, the amount of carbon exhaust released into the air will drastically reduce. An environmental company, Platform London, suggested that the recent 4-day working week experiment in the UK may reduce atmospheric carbon by 127 million tonnes.

The downside to a 4-day working week

We will be remise not to mention the possible negative impact of the 4-day working week on the society.

  1. It could reduce public expenditure which in turn impacts the economy.
  2. May reduce interpersonal relationships at work since workers have less time to interact.
  3. It may not be the right transition for all types of jobs, especially those that need to be done in person. Not all jobs can be done remotely. Security related jobs cannot be so transitioned for example.

How having a virtual office can facilitate a 4-day working week for you?

To cap it all, a virtual office address may help you achieve your 4-day working week dream. How? You ask. Well, below are a few points.

As a freelancer or a small business owner, you do not have to go to the office every day. You just need a virtual office address that affords you the luxury to work from home and still maintain the prestige of having an office space. You can thus choose to work the number of hours you so desire. 

Businesses all over the world are adopting the 4-day working week and also reducing the number of hours their employees have to come into office. They make it so flexible that you are free to make a choice of when to show up between Monday and Friday. Most of the time, they do not even have to work from home at those times when they are not at work. 

With a virtual office, you do not have to worry about the health of your business because your calls are going to be attended to, your mail will be handled and forwarded as necessary, even your emails will be responded to. 

These and more are what you stand to gain when you use a virtual office address.


When workers work less hours and still earn the same salary, it is easier for them to be encouraged to do more for the betterment of your business.

How could a four-day working week help the environment?

The 4-day week could help to improve the environment in several ways:
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1. Help reduce carbon emission

With a reduction in the number of cars on the road per day, carbon pollution due to exhausts emission will be reduced. This will in turn help reduce the rate of global warming.

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