Why not move to a four-day workweek? COVID-19 is already upending how we work.
Opinion: A shortened workweek comes with pros and cons. It's time for companies and society to give them some serious thought.
With the COVID-19 pandemic keeping unemployment rates at their highest levels since the Great Depression, this may be an ideal time to reconsider the four-day, 32-hour workweek.
In addition to having people work at home some or all of the time, available jobs could be increased if employers knocked a day off the workweek, and filled in necessary added staff with new hires. It is not a zero-sum game – in fact, the sum of the changes may very well increase the overall output of the U.S. economy if, as a number of studies suggest, productivity increases sufficiently.
If we look at actual hours worked during the past 50 years or so prior to 2020, we see that employees are working fewer hours today than in years past, which means the four-day week would be a continuation of a trend rather than a radical departure from actual practice.
Robert Grosse is a professor of International Business at Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University and author of "The 4-Day Workweek." Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.