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Sidwell Friends School's Student Newspaper Since 1974


Sidwell Friends School's Student Newspaper Since 1974


Sidwell Friends School's Student Newspaper Since 1974


CON: Should the United States Implement a Four-Day Workweek?

Sergiy Galyonkin, Flickr.
Many countries have shifted to a four-day workweek.

Shifting to a four-day workweek would cause immeasurable stress and consequences to all parties involved through reducing productivity during the school year, decreasing healthcare availability, a lack of team bonding and a large increase in stress. 

Firstly, shifting a nation’s, or even the entire world’s, working schedules would cause immeasurable government spending and stress on employees and superiors due to reorganizing budgets, leaves of absence and daily schedules. Companies would likely have to hire new workers to assist with these scheduling nightmares or overwork their current employees. As both of these solutions are unmanageable and would likely only provide temporary relief, a four-day workweek is simply idealistic and would not end up being a logical or realistic possibility, not to mention the long list of consequences it would cause for the entire population. 

If we shorten the workweek, either students’ school weeks would have to be shortened or teachers would have to be the only professionals required to retain a five-day workweek. Both of these results would be extremely unproductive and unjust for all involved. If the school week were shortened to four days, students would lose one-fifth of their education yearly. In order to combat this, schools would undoubtedly remove or shorten lengthy breaks, increasing student burnout dramatically. Many schools might also opt for longer school days or school days with fewer breaks during the day, two factors that would also contribute to student stress. If students are burnt out due to few breaks and longer school days, they will become more unproductive due to their stress and the decline of their mental health and wellbeing. 

Next, many non-emergency healthcare centers, such as family medicine and dental offices that operate on a five-day workweek, would now lose one-fifth of their available appointments and availability. As the population and the number of people in need of healthcare services increases indefinitely, decreasing their availability to receive these services would be extremely counterproductive.

Additionally, all professionals, not just teachers and healthcare workers, will suffer from a four-day workweek due to a lack of team bonding. With a five-day workweek, time is built in during the workday for team bonding and professional development workshops. This time is instrumental for employees to establish a sense of security between coworkers and superiors. With the creation of a four-day workweek, these workshops will likely be sacrificed to compensate for the lost work time. So, employees will be unable to work together as effectively as they will not form meaningful bonds with each other or learn efficient methods to complete work as a team or individually. 

Furthermore, many work two jobs to provide for their families or take night classes to advance their education. Shifting to a four-day workweek would lead to an increased difficulty or inability to pursue either of these options, as workdays would likely either be lengthened or intensified. So, workers would become overburdened and attempt to fit two jobs, a career and an education into four days rather than five, leading to rising stress levels across populations. Thus, all the factors above prove that shifting to a four-day workweek would be detrimental to all citizens, whether in the workforce or pursuing an education.

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About the Contributor
Daphne Zwicker ’26
Daphne Zwicker ’26, Opinion Editor
Daphne Zwicker is currently an Opinion Editor for Horizon, a position she held in the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 school years. Prior to this, she served as a Staff Writer for the newspaper.
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