The days of glorifying busyness and “living to work” may soon be behind us as support for the 4-day workweek gains traction among American workers. The COVID-19 pandemic increased remote work and made many people worldwide reevaluate their work-life balance. Now, the 4-day workweek is gaining momentum among policymakers: Rep. Mark Takano of California’s 39th district just reintroduced a bill for a 32-hour workweek to Congress.
As this major change in American business looms closer, we wanted to gain further insight into how business owners and employees feel about shifting to a 4-day workweek. We surveyed 504 business owners and 505 employees about their perspectives on this potential workplace overhaul. Here’s what they had to say.
- 27% of business owners currently implement a 4-day workweek.
- 57% of business owners are willing to pilot a 4-day workweek to assess its impact.
- 62% of business owners support the federal government implementing a 4-day workweek, while 22% are neutral, and 15% oppose it.
- 70% of Democrat vs. 53% of Republican business owners support the 4-day workweek.
Pros and Cons: Business Owners’ Perspectives
- Top 3 benefits of a 4-day workweek:
- Better workplace culture (62%)
- Increased flexibility for employees (61%)
- Increased employee creativity and innovation (54%)
- Top 3 concerns of a 4-day workweek (among those who are opposed to it):
- May negatively impact customer service/satisfaction (55%)
- Goes against industry standards (45%)
- Difficulty scheduling/coordinating (41%)
- 21% of business owners who support the 4-day workweek movement report having no concerns regarding its implementation.
When Will 4-Day Workweeks Become the New Norm?
- 45% of business owners believe a 4-day workweek will be implemented within the next five years or less.
- Among blue-collar industries: within the next 3-5 years (31%)
- Among white-collar industries: within the next 3-5 years (27%)
- Business owners in the retail industry believe the 4-day workweek will become the norm:
- Within the next 3-5 years (38%)
- Never (29%)
- Within the next 5-10 years (17%)
- Within the next 1-2 years (12%)
- More than 10 years from now (3%)
- Business owners in the tech industry believe the 4-day workweek will become the norm:
- Within the next 3-5 years (33%)
- Within the next 5-10 years (22%)
- Within the next 1-2 years (20%)
- Never (19%)
- More than 10 years from now (6%)
- 80% of employees would support the federal government implementing a 4-day workweek.
- 12% of employees are currently on a 4-day workweek schedule.
Pros and Cons: Employees’ Perspectives
- Top 3 benefits of a 4-day workweek (among those who support it):
- Increased free time for leisure and relationships (86%)
- Better work-life balance (82%)
- May reduce stress and improve health (81%)
- Top 3 concerns of a 4-day workweek (among those who support it):
- Reduced availability/longer response times may frustrate clients (34%)
- Difficulty adapting to changes at work (23%)
- Goes against industry standards (21%)
- Top reasons why employees oppose the 4-day workweek:
- Satisfaction with the current system (43%)
- May negatively impact customer service/satisfaction (30%)
- Difficulties with scheduling/coordination (27%)
- Goes against industry standards (27%)
- May not have enough time to complete quality work (27%)
- May require additional workers and labor costs (20%)
- May reduce their motivation (20%)
- Preference for business owner freedom over government mandates (18%)
- May negatively impact team dynamics (16%)
Implementing the 4-Day Workweek in America
Most employees and business owners are ready for the federal government to turn the 4-day workweek into law. Employees desire a shorter workweek to reduce stress, improve their health and work-life balance, and have more time to focus on their personal relationships and pursuits.
While some business owners may be wary of shortening the workweek, pilot programs show that 4-day workweeks increase productivity, engagement, and revenue. It may seem counterintuitive, but having employees work less may improve the bottom line for business owners. With the potential to increase profits and improve quality of life, the 4-day workweek may just be what American business needs.
B2B Reviews surveyed 504 business owners and 505 employees about their views on the 4-day workweek. By industry, 55% of business owners worked in white-collar industries (accounting and finance, advertising and marketing, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, business services, education and training, energy and utilities, entertainment and media, healthcare and medical services, insurance, legal services, real estate, technology and software, telecommunications), 37% of business owners worked in blue-collar industries (agriculture and farming, automotive, construction and building services, consumer goods and services, food and beverage, government and public administration, hospitality and tourism, manufacturing, retail and wholesale, transportation and logistics), and the rest reported something else and were excluded from industry analysis.
As for business size, 58% were micro-business owners, 18% were small-business owners, 14% were medium-sized business owners, and 10% were large-business owners. As for political affiliations among business owners, 36% were Democrats, 28% were Republicans, 30% were Independents, and the remaining were something else. Among employees, 50% were Democrats, 22% were Republicans, 22% were Independents, and the rest were something else.
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Fair Use Statement
Trying to convince others that the 4-day workweek should become the norm for your business or industry? Feel free to share our data for any non-commercial purpose and provide your readers a link to this study so they can appreciate our full findings.