Does the 4-Day Workweek Boost Your Productivity For a Better Balance?

Usually, there are two types of reactions when people hear about a 4-day workweek. Either they are inspired to achieve this goal, or they dismiss the meaningless idea that only a lucky few can have the privilege.

Whether you’re first or second, you’re at the right place. In this article, I will show you why you should achieve the goal of a 4-day workweek because of the many benefits it offers.

If you ask me, “does the 4-day work week boost your productivity for better balance?”, the answer is definitely yes.

I think you’ll agree with me that everything seems to work a little better when done in moderation, whether it’s sleep, physical activity, diet or something else. If we sleep too much, we will be tired and less motivated. So I think you see how important it is to create and maintain balance in all areas. This also includes our work.

What Does a 4-Day Workweek Have To Do With Productivity?

We all have seven days a week. It makes sense to work three or five days to balance work and rest. So why has it been standardized to work five and rest only for two? And what does that have to do with our productivity?

If we look at the countries that according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development are the most productive and those that are not, we can see a direct correlation between working hours. While Norway, Denmark and Germany work an average of 27 hours a week, Japan and Mexico, countries known for overworked employees, rank as the least productive while at work. more hours.

The basic objective of the 4-day work week is to improve the quality of life of workers. By working fewer hours overall and taking three full days off, people have more time for personal priorities like:

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  • Spend quality time with family, friends and pets
  • Care
  • Doctor’s Appointments
  • Personal development
  • Education
  • Travel
  • Interests
  • Home maintenance and household management

Before the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 in the US, most employees worked seven days a week. History has proven that we grow better structurally, so someone set an example and boosted our productivity.

It was none other than Henry Ford, who changed the story from working every day to working 5 days a week. He say:

“Just as eight hours a day paved the way for our prosperity in America, so a five-day workweek will pave our way to further prosperity. It is high time we put aside the notion that leisure for workers is a waste of time or a class prerogative.”

Time to break the status quo

Although Ford’s big change was made primarily for business reasons, it became a movement that every industry would soon adapt to. This has led companies to explore productivity further by experimenting with the 4-day workweek.

“Overall, the same amount of work gets done in four days compared to five, mainly because when you have less time, you tend to squeeze the unimportant stuff out,” CEO Basecamp, said Jason Fried.

“Our employees return to work refreshed and ready to focus,” said Katie Fang, founder and chief executive officer of SchooLinks.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you don’t have to wait for anyone to set your schedule — you choose your hours and hours of work. Our society is defined by a 9 to 5 framework, with the perception that you have to work long and hard to be successful. And when you are working less and find that you are enjoying it, you almost feel bad or ashamed so you hide it, doing meaningless things just to fill that time.

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Because that’s what you have to do! Or maybe, that’s when you break with the status quo and start your real-time assessment by:

  • focus and only do what brings results;
  • Prioritize your most important tasks;
  • delegate tasks that do not require your genius;
  • Separate your environment and your mind to achieve quick results.

Improving overall work performance is what we’re looking for when it comes to productivity. It has been studied that overworked employees are less productive than employees who work in an average or normal work week..

How a 4-day work week can increase your productivity

If you’re looking for proof that a 4-day workweek can boost your productivity, here’s a list of things that working less will change for you.

1. Effective

A 2014 study from Stanford University found that productivity in a 60-hour week is two-thirds lower than when working a 40-hour week. While there may not be a magic number of hours that yields the best results in our operations, there is evidence.

Working with reduced hours, we tend to be more attentive and more productive to get the work done in the time available, rather than spending long, potentially less useful hours on desk. Efficiency increases as we strive to save time and achieve more within the framework we have, instead of prioritizing less important tasks that do not deliver optimal value.

Icelandic research between 2015 and 2019 demonstrated that productivity increases with shorter working hours. In the Reykjavík accounting department, workers process 6.5% more invoices when they start working fewer hours. Meanwhile, at the police station, the shorter workweek did not negatively affect the number of cases that were closed.

2. Stress

The New Zealand company, Perpetual Guardian, conducted a two-month pilot study. Not only did employees maintain the same level of productivity, but they also showed improvements in job satisfaction, teamwork, work/life balance, and company loyalty. Work stress dropped from 45% to 38%.. These are amazing results considering that stress is one of the biggest reasons for depression and illness.

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A key factor is that working fewer hours leads to happier, healthier, and more engaged people. A 2021 study that followed Swedish workers for a decade found that reducing working hours reduced stress, burnout, and negative emotions.

When stress is down, we’re more likely to make time and energy for hobbies, exercise, errands, friends, and family.

3. Sleep

We know that working long hours is bad for your health. Shorter hours allow people to feel more rested, better able to handle complex needs, or even spend less time being distracted by personal tasks at work. “busy” work or work.

When it comes to sleep, consistency is key. So if you’re going against routine, this is an area where you should take a seat and stick with it for productivity and balance.

A 2017 study found that cutting work hours by 25% improved sleep and reduced stress. Jim Stanford, economist and director at the Center for Future Work at the Australian Institute.

4. Concentration

“It shifts the focus from hours worked to productivity – i.e. from ‘work busy’ to the right job.

Happiness has a lot to do with our attention and ability to focus on our priorities. Studies have shown that a more positive work culture makes employees more engaged. Workers in less positive environments are more likely to make mistakes, reduce productivity, and be absent more often.

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When we have limited time, our focus tends to shift from unimportant to important priorities more effectively. Saving time while staying focused is what time frames give us, so our productivity increases.

Whenever we set a time limit on a task, we tend to focus on it much better. Try it for yourself.


As you can see above, there are many great benefits and areas worth considering when switching to a 4-day workweek. Whatever your motivation, I challenge you to experiment and test the concept for yourself. Only this way will you know what suits you best.

But remember that it’s not just about cutting time, it’s about achieving more. To continue, you need to understand what you’re going to do with that extra time. Clarity of goals is something that needs development.

A 4-day workweek is a valuable option for many companies and entrepreneurs to adapt as technology can keep business as usual while people can still have careers meaningful with better work-life balance.

Now, each of us has the choice to make a 4-day work week the new normal. It will require a change in culture and mindset and scrutiny of work practices that can be automated, disarmed or eliminated. Only by emphasizing results instead of journaling for hours can we continue on the “balanced” path we started and overcome the discomfort around change.

Featured photo credit: Adelin Preda via

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