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5-Day Workweek v. 4-Day Workweek

Which one is better for you?
5-Day Workweek v. 4-Day Workweek

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In this article

What does a 4-day workweek look like to employers?

Employers can get more out of workers with a 4-day workweek by increasing their productivity and job satisfaction. This can be achieved by:

  1. Allowing for better work-life balance, which can reduce stress and burnout
  2. Encouraging focus and efficiency during work hours, as workers will have a longer break to recharge
  3. Improving employee morale and motivation, as workers will appreciate the extra day off
  4. Attracting and retaining top talent, as the 4-day workweek can be seen as a desirable perk

However, it is important for employers to implement the 4-day workweek in a way that aligns with their business goals and does not negatively impact productivity or customer satisfaction.

What does a 4-day workweek look like to workers?

Workers can get more out of a 4-day workweek by having:

  1. More time for personal activities and responsibilities, such as caring for family members, pursuing hobbies, or traveling.
  2. Improved work-life balance, reducing stress and burnout.
  3. A longer break to recharge and return to work refreshed and motivated.
  4. An additional day off to focus on their physical and mental well-being.
  5. Increased job satisfaction and a sense of control over their schedule.

Overall, the 4-day workweek can provide workers with greater flexibility and a better quality of life, which can lead to improved performance and satisfaction in the workplace.

how could universal basic income compliment a 4-day workweek?

Universal basic income (UBI) could complement a 4-day workweek by providing a stable source of income to workers who may be earning less due to reduced work hours. With UBI, workers would have the financial security to take a shorter workweek without having to worry about lost income.

Additionally, UBI could also support workers who may not be able to work full-time due to personal circumstances, such as caring for family members or dealing with health issues. This could help reduce poverty and income inequality.

A UBI combined with a 4-day workweek could provide workers with more time for personal and professional development, which could lead to increased innovation and creativity in the workforce. Furthermore, a UBI-4 day workweek combination could also provide an alternative to the traditional 9-to-5 workweek and could help reduce the burnout and stress associated with full-time work.

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UBI v. Work Hour Equivalents

Work Hour Equivalents is a metric that compares how many work hours would be needed to provide the equivalent cash earnings of the standardly proposed Universal Basic Income.

Federal Minimum Wage ($7.25): UBI is equivalent to 1,655 work hours (207 work days).

California Minimum Wage ($15.50): UBI is equivalent to 774 work hours (96 work days).

UBI + 3.5-Day Workweeks is Better for Employers

If we assume a business is to be operating 7 days per week we immediately encounter logistical problems. The 40-hour workweek only allows for an employee to work 5 8-hour days… leaving 2 days absent the needed employee. This leaves an employer to either try and stretch more out of one employee, leading to burnout of the employee and an increased cost of labor due to overtime — or to find a part-time employee to fill in the gaps as needed.

For employers, it makes much more sense to have 2 employees that average 3.5 workdays per week instead. This leaves an employer with 2 energized and enthusiastic employees and provides scheduling flexibility for when an employee needs unexpected time off.

UBI + 3.5-Day Workweeks is Better for Employees

It’s easy to see the benefits to employers, but what about employees? For many employees working at or near minimum wage, every hour matters. Quite often, unfortunately, this may be the difference between being able to pay for childcare or some stupid unexpected bill that pops up.

There are 2 simple reasons why UBI + 3.5-day workweeks is clearly advantageous to workers:

3.5-day workweeks allow for people to carry 2 full-time jobs: 3.5-day workweeks is a limit on employers, not workers. Workers are thus provided the opportunity to work 7 days per week and receive 2 sources of income, if they wish. This would allow them to increase their income as well as encourage workplace advancement.

Moving from a 5-day workweek to a 3.5-day workweek results in 78 fewer workdays: UBI is the equivalent of 96 workdays at the most expensive minimum wage rates and 207 workdays at federal minimum wage. The result is that workers, under this protocol, will have more cash in their hand. Additionally, they can use their newfound free time to either pick up a second job, increase their education and workplace value, or allocate their time to any other more pressing need.

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