In Conversation: 4-Day Workweek, Its Feasibility, and the Digital HR Transformation

HR Voice
HR Voice
6 Min Read
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Businesses around the world have had to change almost overnight to accommodate the changes that the COVID-19 pandemic brought with it.

In these businesses, we observed a drastic digital HR transformation. Where work from home was not even considered as an option, pandemic with HR transformation made things possible. And that’s not where it ends.

As they say, everything happens for a reason.

If we were to stick to this statement, it brings us to our topic in focus:

The 4-Day Workweek!

It’s a million-dollar question in the corporate world and it needs to be answered. Where are we going with the concept of a 4-day workweek and will it really benefit businesses in the long run? While it may work in theory, how practical is this approach going to work with the digital HR transformation? And do we really understand the after-effects of implementing the change?

Let’s take a look!

What is a 4-Day Workweek?

As the name suggests, employees will only be required to work for 4-days of the week, and be paid the same amount as they would on a 5-day workweek.

That said, every organization will have a different way of approaching this and may provide or take away certain benefits to suit their business model.

The concept behind this new way of working is to put more focus on productivity than the amount of time spent in the workplace. As a part of the digital HR transformation, the four-day workweek is supposed to be a great move towards ensuring employees enjoy the privileges of work-life balance.

There will be a positive and negative outlook towards every change. The start should be positive, so let’s discuss the pros of a four-day workweek.

What happened when Microsoft Japan tried this new routine? Read here.

The Pros

Owing to the introduction and adaptation of automation in the corporate world, the future looks bright.

  • Better mental health – Allowing employees to enjoy more personal days ensures their mental health is kept in check. In the era of digital HR transformation and 4-day workweek, they now have time to focus on activities they enjoy.
  • Higher retention rates – A 4-day workweek gives employees the chance to rejuvenate and come back to work with a fresher mind and willing to take up challenges. This improves the overall approach and feelings towards their workplace.
  • Decreased carbon footprint – As employees have to use the office premises for 4 days alone, the transportation and electricity cost reduces considerably
  • Improved engagement and collaboration – Improved engagement and collaboration – With less time at hand in comparison to a normal workweek, employees understand the importance of time. This gives rise to a highly engaging and rich collaboration between employees leading to optimal productivity. Clearly this arrangement emerges as a win-win for both; the employees and the company.

The Cons

Depending on what profession you take into account, there will be a change in the effects of any experiment.

Six-hour workdays were implemented by the Swedes for everyone including nurses and tech employees for a two-year-long trial. Check out the full story here.

At the crux of it, we begin to see several issues with the new system:

  • Faulty implementation – If a business were to approach the 4-day workweek but keep the same number of working hours, then their system would fail. Productivity would reduce and the purpose of implementing a digital HR transformation would prove to be disastrous.
  • Decreased customer satisfaction – A study conducted in Utah showed that there were positive effects on the environment, but the customers were left unhappy. Being unable to get hold of the people who were supposed to help them led to customer dissatisfaction. With AI and other technological implementations, this could be solved over time.
  • Company culture – The opportunities people would get to socialize and strengthen their work relations reduce when they’re only seeing each other for 4 days a week. The solution, although, could be an easy one given the high-end digital HR transformation engagement stories we get to hear.
  • Managing part-timers – What would happen to part-time employees when the full-timers are working just about the same hours as them? Would companies have to increase the wages to maintain the pay equity or reduce their work timings?

Navigating through this unknown territory can be tough, but that is a given with any kind of change we wish to bring about.


The purpose of this discussion is to give a sneak peek into the potential scenarios that could occur when and if most businesses were to implement the 4-day workweek.

It is important to remember that executing the same is going to be through a digital HR transformation. You must invest in software that would help you break down your organizational silos, so you can view your company as an integrated whole.

With a better understanding of the pros and cons of a 4-day workweek, businesses should be able to determine if this approach would benefit them.

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