Semana Blog

4-Day Work Week: Benefits, Chalenges, and How to Make it Work

What is a 4-Day Work Week? 

  • The different formats of the 4-day work week, 
  • The proven advantages it has brought to companies that have tried it
  • Potential challenges and reverse effects that may arise, 
  • And ultimately, whether the 4-day work week is suitable for everyone. 

Variations on the 4-Day Work Week

At first glance, the concept of a 4-day work week may seem like a minor adjustment to the traditional 5-day work week, with one fewer day of work. However, this whole trend is about embracing flexibility and exploring new possibilities for work arrangements. Which also brings us to raise questions around pay and compensation. Will employees receive the same hourly rate as they did for a 40-hour work week, or will pay be adjusted to match the traditional work week? To better understand the variations and potential benefits of a 4-day work week, it’s important to break down the different models and explore how each one is organized. 

4 x 8 hr days for 80% salary

4 x 8 hr days for 100% salary

Implementing a 32 hr week for a full salary is an exciting opportunity to test how shorter work weeks can impact employee productivity and satisfaction. Following this format, employees can work four days a week without compromising their full-time position perks. However, one concern for companies is whether collaborators can fully achieve their OKRs with fewer work days per week. It’s an interesting challenge that is definitely worth tackling for a better work-life balance.

4 x 9 hr/10 hr days for 100% salary

Companies who use this model follow the 4/10 rule. Which involves cramming 36 hrs to 40 hrs of work into a 4-day period. Although this format respects the original concept of a 4-day work week, it does not lighten the workload and may lead to burnout. It could be a good arrangement for those who prefer to work an extra two hours per day to free up one day for leisure or other commitments. 

30 hrs stretched over 5 days

4.5 day week 

The Advantages of a 4-Day Work Week

We examined the findings of the largest 4-day work week pilot that took place in the UK  from June to December 2022 and here are the reported benefits of adopting this model:

Increased productivity and job satisfaction for employees

The results of the study showed promising data on the levels of productivity and job satisfaction. In fact, the vast majority of companies reported satisfaction that business performance and productivity were maintained.

For employees, the benefits of a shorter work week included having more time to recharge and pursue personal interests, which led to feeling more focused and energized during work hours. Some of the staff members interviewed also reported on how much money they were saving on child care expenses.

Lower levels of stress and burnout

A shorter work week provides more time for employees to relax and pursue interests outside of work. This naturally leads to better work-life balance and significantly reduces the levels of stress and burnout. By the end of the UK pilot study, 39% of employees were less stressed, 48% reported no change in stress levels, and 71% experienced lower levels of burnout.

Reduced carbon footprint

Implementing a four-day work week can contribute to reducing carbon emissions as fewer employees need to commute to work every week, resulting in a smaller carbon footprint. Moreover, operating for fewer days per week could lead to cost savings on energy expenses for companies.

Enhanced recruitment and retention of talent

Offering a 4-day work week can be a significant perk for employees, helping companies to attract and retain top talent. In today’s competitive job market, providing flexible working arrangements can give companies a significant competitive edge.

Challenges and Considerations for Employers

Adopting a 4-day work week may not be a straightforward process for most companies. Employers should expect facing some challenges when implementing such a change in the workplace: 

Potential resistance from management and employees

Management may resist the change, fearing the potential impact on their business objectives. While employees may worry about the increased workload and their ability to complete tasks within a shorter time frame. To address these concerns, it’s important for employers to survey employees on their preferred working models and communicate the benefits of a 4-day work week. Effective communication is key to ensuring buy-in from all stakeholders and successful implementation of the new schedule.

Concerns over maintaining productivity 

The need to maintain productivity while reducing work hours is a real challenge. This requires careful planning and the implementation of new processes or technology to enhance efficiency and streamline workflows.

Need for effective communication and collaboration tools

Burnout from longer hours of work per day 

Burnout can be a great risk for employees, especially due to the longer workdays (e.g., the 4 x 10-hour days) or stress related to meeting business objectives within the shorter workweek. Therefore, it is crucial for employers to monitor their employees’ well-being and ensure that they have access to the necessary support and resources to manage their workload effectively. 


As the workforce evolves, companies must keep pace with the demand for more flexibility. From remote work to non-traditional schedules, adapting to these changes presents numerous opportunities for companies and their employees to succeed in the shifting landscape of work.


What country has 4 day work weeks?

What are the disadvantages of a 4 day work week?

While a 4 day work week can have benefits such as increased productivity and employee satisfaction, there are also some potential disadvantages. These may include longer workdays, difficulty scheduling meetings with colleagues who work on different schedules, and the possibility of reduced pay.

What is a 4 day work week routine?

The routine for a 4 day work week may vary depending on the company and the specific schedule adopted. However, a common structure is to work four 8 to 10 hour days, with three consecutive days off. Some companies may also allow employees to work remotely or have flexible schedules, as long as they complete their required hours.