Some bosses say hours worked is the best proxy for productivity. Many workers say output is the only metric that matters.
Feb. 25, 2023 5:30 am ET
More companies are experimenting with the four-day workweek, and workers who have tried it are divided on how fruitful an abbreviated schedule can be.
Hundreds of WSJ readers responded to our story about companies trying the four-day week with their own experiences of how reducing their regular work schedule by one day worked out for them.
Jennifer Newman’s previous employer, a large advertising agency, adopted a four-day workweek during the pandemic. The goal was for employees to work four eight-hour days, but she said most people had to put in longer hours to make their deadlines.
“I am a bit skeptical of all the supposed employee benefits,” she said. “It was the same amount of work crammed into four days instead of five.”
Some employees in professions such as Ms. Newman’s might find it difficult to manage their workloads on a shortened schedule, and it can be almost impossible for workers in consumer-facing roles.
“It’s tough to do with the service business,” said Mike Groves, chief executive officer of Federal Lock & Safe in Arlington, Va.
Mr. Groves has found another solution for his workers to have more work-life balance. For teams that aren’t in the field answering customer calls, the company has adopted a seven-hour workday. Employees arrive at 6 a.m. and leave around 1 p.m. The shorter day has improved retention rates as well as productivity.
“If you treat them like adults, people respond,” Mr. Groves said.