The four-day workweek has emerged as an all-in-one solution to a range of problems that were often addressed in piecemeal fashion, from retaining working parents to combating burnout. There was also a desire to work smarter. The solution, some tech companies hope, is the four-day working week.
But when you squeeze the same amount of work (or more) into less time, work intensifies. Fintech startup Bolt surveyed its staff after piloting the four-day week; 40 percent reported feeling more stressed.
When work is squeezed into four days, the human interactions that fill the interstitial time can suffer. "There wasn't time for banter," said one employee whose startup made the switch.
"There are some people whose main motivation at work is to get everything done and go home," says Brendan Burchell, a University of Cambridge sociology professor. Lots of other people are happiest when they have interactions, he says — for instance, single parents whose main source of adult socialization may be at work.
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