Is the four-day week the future of work?

Trials have shown that more flexible work hours benefit employees and companies. But not everyone is ready to sign up.

A businessman talks on his mobile phone as other office workers have lunch in a central Sydney park April 3, 2006
A businessman talks on his mobile phone as other office workers have lunch in a park in Sydney, Australia [File: Will Burgess/Reuters]

Are we on the verge of another workplace revolution? It’s possible to work fewer hours and keep the same level of pay and productivity, according to results of the largest-ever trial of a four-day workweek held in the United Kingdom. Traditional work routines were upended by the COVID-19 pandemic, and there’s increased demand for more flexible schedules. But in many parts of the world, even a five-day week is a luxury. So can a four-day workweek work for everyone?

In this episode: 

  • Juliet Schor (@JulietSchor) sociology professor at Boston College and lead researcher, 4-Day Week Global
  • Wen Fan, associate professor at Boston College and researcher, 4-Day Week Global
  • Kıvanç Eliaçık (@Diskinsesi) international director for the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DISK)
  • Ignacia López, Chilean labour lawyer
  • Jaya Dass (@Randstad_SG) managing director of permanent recruitment in Asia Pacific at Randstad

Episode credits:

This episode was produced by Miranda Lin and our host, Malika Bilal. Khaled Soltan fact-checked this episode.

Our sound designer is Alex Roldan. This episode was mixed by Tim St. Clair.

Our lead of audience development and engagement is Aya Elmileik. Munera Al Dosari and Adam Abou-Gad are our engagement producers. 

Alexandra Locke is The Take’s executive producer, and Ney Alvarez is Al Jazeera’s head of audio.

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Source: Al Jazeera