26 Popular 4 Day Work Week Statistics [2023]: Facts, Trends, and Projections

The concept of a traditional five-day workweek continues to be challenged as more companies and policymakers recognize the potential benefits of reducing work hours. There has been a noticeable shift towards prioritizing employee well-being, productivity, and work-life balance. 

Knowing that we’ve gathered all of the latest and most essential 4-day work week statistics. According to our research:

  • 33% of organizations offer 4-day, 40-hour work weeks
  • 56% of employees would rather work a 40-hour work week in 4 days instead of 5 days
  • 77% of workers reported increased productivity when working a 4-day week
  • 58% of employees said they would choose a 4-day workweek over a pay raise

For further analysis, we broke down the data in the following ways:
General StatisticsTrends and Predictions | BenefitsDisadvantages

General 4-day Work Week Statistics

Let's begin by establishing a foundation before delving into more detailed 4-day work week statistics. Understanding the basics will help grasp the reasons behind the growing shift towards shorter work weeks. According to research:

  • 33% of organizations offer 4-day, 40-hour work weeks.

    Approximately 33% of organizations now provide compressed workweeks, where the total weekly working hours are condensed into four days. Additionally, 15% of companies are offering employees 4-day work weeks of 32 hours or less per week.

  • 56% of employees would rather work a 40-hour work week in 4 days instead of 5 days.

    Our market research company, Drive Research, surveyed over 2,000 U.S. employees across various industries to ask about their current working conditions and preferences.

    When asked which of the following schedules U.S. employees would most prefer for a 40-hour workweek, 56% reported a four-day work week, 10 hours per day. While, 44% reported a five-day work week, 8 hours per day. 

  • 58% of employees said they would choose a 4-day workweek over a pay raise.

    In a survey conducted by YouGov, nearly 3 in 5 employees would choose working a 4-day workweek over a pay raise. This only highlights further proof that work-life balance and personal time are highly valued by employees, potentially even more so than financial compensation.

  • Iceland, Germany, and Spain are among the countries that have successfully implemented a 4-day work week. 
    • Iceland's government conducted a trial in 2015-2019 where some public sector workers shifted to a 35-36 hour workweek without a decrease in pay. The results showed improved work-life balance, reduced stress levels, and no loss in productivity.

    • In some German companies and industries, such as the metal and electrical sectors, negotiated agreements have been made to allow for reduced working hours, including options for a 4-day workweek.

    • Spain has recently introduced a pilot program called the "New Normal" project, which includes a 32-hour workweek experiment. Companies across different sectors are participating, aiming to improve work-life balance and productivity.

4-Day Work Week Trends and Predictions

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic being behind us, flexible work environments and schedules only seem to be trending upwards. It is likely that the pandemic started a precedent for this trend and sentiment among workers. Here are some findings we’ve uncovered:

  • Experts predict by 2025, 80% of businesses will adopt a more flexible work schedule, including shorter work weeks.

    This projection reflects the growing recognition of the benefits associated with flexibility and the evolving expectations of both employees and employers.

  • 54% of HR professionals reported an increase in inquiries from employees about the possibility of a 4-day work week.

    There is a changing demographic landscape in the workforce. Millennials and Generation Z, who prioritize work-life integration and value flexibility, are becoming a significant portion of the labor market.

    Meeting their preferences and needs becomes essential for attracting and retaining top talent.

  • 64% of business leaders expect the 4-day work week to become the norm within the next decade.

    As employers recognize the importance of employee well-being in fostering a motivated and productive workforce, the appeal of shorter workweeks grows stronger. Therefore studies are predicting that businesses will say goodbye to the traditional 9-5, 5-day work weeks and move to 4-day work weeks instead.

  • Studies suggest a 4-day workweek could lead to increased employment opportunities and improved work-life balance.

    There is mounting evidence supporting the positive impacts of flexible work schedules on employee well-being, job satisfaction, and productivity.

    For instance, a study conducted by the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) suggested that transitioning to a shorter work week could lead to greater employment opportunities and improved work-life balance.

Benefits of a 4-Day Work Week

As more research and case studies emerge, the evidence supporting the benefits of a shorter workweek continues to grow, making it an increasingly popular choice for forward-thinking organizations.

These statistics demonstrate the positive impact of a 4-day work week on productivity, work-life balance, employee well-being, talent attraction, and the environment.

  • 77% of workers reported increased productivity when working a 4-day week.

    According to a study conducted by the Henley Business School in the United Kingdom, 77% of workers reported increased productivity when working a 4-day week.

    Furthermore, Microsoft Japan implemented a 4-day workweek experiment and saw a 40% boost in productivity compared to the previous year.

  • 66% of employees consider a shorter work week an attractive perk when considering a job offer.

    With the rise of remote work and flexible schedules, companies offering a 4-day workweek have a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining top talent. A survey by Robert Half, a global staffing firm, revealed that when evaluating job offers, a significant majority of employees view a reduced workweek as an appealing benefit.

    For organizations wanting to return to in-person, a study conducted by our employee survey company found that better pay (53%) and benefits (42%) are the most enticing factors to encourage employees to work in-person full-time.

  • 78% of employees believe a shorter workweek would improve their work-life balance.

    A survey by the Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated found that 78% of employees believe a shorter workweek would improve their work-life balance.

  • Employees who had a 4-day workweek reported lower stress levels and higher job satisfaction.

    In a study by the Harvard Business School, workers who enjoyed a 4-day workweek experienced reduced stress levels and increased job satisfaction.

    Even more proof, New Zealand's Perpetual Guardian, a trust and estate planning company, implemented a 4-day workweek and found that employees' stress levels decreased by 7% while job satisfaction increased significantly.


Disadvantages of a 4-Day Work Week

While the concept of a 4-day workweek offers numerous advantages, it's important to consider potential disadvantages as well. Here are some statistics highlighting the challenges that may arise with a 4-day workweek:

  • 62% of businesses stated that implementing a 4-day workweek would require a reduction in employee salaries.

    Perhaps the biggest perceived drawback of shifting to a shorter workweek is reduced pay. In fact, according to a study by the Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated, 39% of employees expressed concerns about a shorter workweek leading to a decrease in income.

    This seems to be a fair point of content based on a survey conducted by the British Chamber of Commerce. They found that 62% of businesses stated that implementing a 4-day workweek would require a reduction in employee salaries.

  • 40% of employees worried about their workload becoming unmanageable within a shorter workweek.

    The same study by the Workforce Institute found that 2 in 5 employees expressed concerns about the potential for their workload to become overwhelming when transitioning to a shorter workweek.

    Therefore, companies implementing a 4-day workweek need to carefully manage productivity to ensure that work responsibilities are effectively distributed and deadlines are met.

  • 44% of HR professionals expressed concerns about the feasibility of a 4-day workweek in their respective industries.

    In a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 44% of HR professionals voiced apprehensions regarding the practicality of implementing a 4-day workweek. It is a fair concern as industries such as healthcare, hospitality, and retail, may face difficulties in implementing a 4-day workweek without compromising customer satisfaction.

    Additionally, implementing a 4-day workweek requires effective coordination among teams and departments. The SHRM survey mentioned earlier revealed that 46% of HR professionals cited concerns about coordinating schedules and managing coverage during the transition.

4-Day Work Week FAQ

1. Is the 4-day work week more productive?

In general, yes, 4-day work weeks are more productive. In fact, New Zealand estate planning company Perpetual Guardian implemented a 4-day workweek for its employees. The company reported a 20% increase in productivity, along with improvements in work-life balance and job satisfaction.

Additionally, Microsoft Japan employees were given a 4-day workweek during the summer months. The company reported a 40% increase in productivity compared to the previous year.

2. Are there health benefits to a 4-day work week?

Several studies prove that 4-day work weeks lead to lower stress levels, improved mental health, decreased burn-out rates, and other health benefits for employees. In fact, 76% of employees believed that a shorter workweek would improve their mental health and overall well-being.

And HR managers agree. A study by the SHRM revealed that 63% of HR professionals believed a 4-day workweek would enhance work-life balance for employees.

3. Are 4, 10-hour days better?

There are several advantages associated with 4, 10 hour work days compared to 5, 8 hour work days. 

  • Increased focus and efficiency: Longer work days can provide longer uninterrupted blocks of time for employees to focus on tasks and projects, potentially leading to improved concentration and productivity.

  • Reduced transition time: With 4, 10-hour work days, employees have an additional day off each week, which can reduce the time spent transitioning between work and personal life. This may result in improved work-life balance and reduced stress levels.

  • Improved employee satisfaction: A compressed workweek schedule can be perceived as a desirable perk by employees, potentially leading to higher job satisfaction and employee retention rates.

Final Thoughts

As we explore the latest facts, trends, and projections surrounding the 4-day workweek in 2023, it becomes evident that this alternative work schedule is gaining significant traction. 

The statistics presented throughout this article shed light on the numerous benefits associated with a shorter workweek, including:

  • Increased productivity
  • Improved work-life balance
  • Enhanced employee well-being
  • The ability to attract and retain top talent

However, it's important to acknowledge that implementing a 4-day workweek is not without its challenges. Concerns such as potential income reductions, workload management, and industry-specific hurdles need to be addressed effectively.

By staying informed about the latest trends and research, both employees and employers can make well-informed decisions regarding work schedules and contribute to creating a future where productivity and overall satisfaction go hand in hand.

For more flexible workplace statistics, watch our animated infographic video below.

Contact Our Market Research Company

Drive Research is a national market research company specializing in qualitative and quantitative methodologies such as online surveys, focus groups, in-depth interviews, and more.

Additionally, our team of senior market research professionals often conducts Voice of Employee (VoE) market research to assist organizations in improving workplace culture and retention by relying on employee feedback.

Interested in learning more about our services? Contact us today.

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emily carroll about the author

Emily Rodgers

A SUNY Cortland graduate, Emily has taken her passion for social and content marketing to Drive Research as the Marketing Manager. She has earned certificates for both Google Analytics and Google AdWords.

Learn more about Emily, here.

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