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Three day weekend every week? The reality behind a shorter work week

Posted at 6:24 PM, Oct 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-30 18:32:37-04

WKBW — Imagine having a holiday weekend every week.

It's a popular concept. Two-thirds of Americans want a compressed work week, according to the global consulting firm Robert Half. Compressed doesn't mean less work, a common option is four ten-hour days meaning people still clock in 40 hours a week.

Liz Warren with Employer Services Corporation said it's desirable for both employers and employees.

"You recruit more talented employees and then your engaged employees always deliver better performance, so you really have a better bottom line as a business owner because engaged employees always deliver better service," Warren said.

Warren said four day weeks usually start with a department, not a whole company. Just this morning she had a meeting with local businesses in the service industry looking to make the change.

Prasad Balkundi with the University at Buffalo School of Management said societal changes are driving the shift.

"As we become a more knowledge based, service based industry we tend to focus more on motivating employees so that's why there's been this reduction in the number of hours," Balkundi said.

Balkundi said a downfall is if people can't get back into the swing of things fast enough.

"If there are a lot of interdependencies where people have to be interacting with each other and building off each other, this short time frame may not really work," he said.

He does expect the four-day trend to grow as the workforce becomes less traditional and more technology and skill based.

"If you have a worker who's happy they tend to be more productive," Balkundi said.