The Long and Short of 4-Day Workweeks

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Number forA California bill mandating employers with at least 500 employees to pay overtime for working more than 32 hours a week — essentially creating an incentive for employers to adopt a 4-day workweek — just stalled in the state Legislature.

There’s a lot of talk lately about 4-day workweeks, with big pilot programs taking place in the US, Canada, and the UK. (For info about these pilots, see the links at the end of this article.)

I find the idea of shortened workweeks compelling, though I don’t see anything magical about four-day weeks (imagine a world where people work the number of days it takes to do the job?). And I wish folks would specify whether they’re advocating a reduction of weekly hours at the same pay vs. cramming the usual number of hours into 4 days (i.e. 4 8-hour days vs. 4 10-hour days a week). Continue reading »