Last week we shared information about two pending Bills, one Federal and one State, seeking to reduce the workweek to 32 hours and asked you to answer our poll, "is Virginia is ready for a 4-day workweek?" The results are in with 63.73% answering Yes, 30.39% answering No, and 5.88% answering Maybe.
In addition, many people wrote comments, both for and against the idea:
"It would permit some semblance of work-life balance."
"Common sense. The goal in life isn't to be worked to death. Existing in general requires work and effort, outside of society's standards around productivity. The general population is burnt out and over the capitalistic bs that continues to drive and influence this countries work standards, expectations and practices."
"Yes, this will greatly improve productivity."
"Business leaders should be measuring business outcomes, not the number of days in a workweek. Common sense would suggest that a worker who can produce the same outcomes in a 4-day work week that others accomplish over a 5-day period is working more efficiently and is more productive, assuming the same total number of hours in a workweek."
"The people of Virginia are ready, but many businesses are still "old school" and not even interested in telework. I think some businesses could move to this as an option in the near future, but the idea of whole companies going to a 4-day workweek is still lagging behind."
"I think workers will continue working and they can't live on the salary cut that will come with 32 hours. Productivity in European countries is much lower than the US bec we work more. It pays off in the long run. But I'm also all for lots of PTO esp for mental health days when needed and fun interspersed in between."
"Northern Virginia is known for employees who exceed 40 hours per week. It is a high wealth, high cost area. Employers would not maintain current pay for 80% of work and most employees could not afford the 20% pay cut. Other places may be different but the 32-hour workweek would not work in NoVa. John C. Cook Cook Craig & Francuzenko, PLLC"
"I think the demands of company business growth and clients (if in the prof services industry) are too high for 32 hours. Expectations would definitely need to be adjusted."
"There are weeks where it is not possible to get everything done in 40 hours; will the workload decrease in order to accommodate a 32-hour workweek?
"When we have such a labor shortage already how does anyone expect the backlog of work to be accomplished by reducing the workweek by 20%. The 4-day work week will be most successful if it's designed as (4) 10-hour days."
"what we should do is enact and enforce the Option to work 40 hours per week by utilizing either 5 8-hour days OR 4 10-hour days. I think the nation's overall productivity and therefore competitiveness will suffer with a migration to a 32-hour workweek."
"As a provider of consulting services to customers in various industries, our entire business model is based on a standard number of working hours per week/month/year. A change would require the reworking of those assumptions to include rate modification across a huge portfolio of contracts which is not practical without significant business interruption."
"But. . . it should either be 4 x 10 with the employer spreading resources over a 5 day work week (or a 4 x 9). 4 x 32 would require extra hires (which not necessarily bad) to pick up slack in the missing hours."
"Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is difficult in NOVA with 5-day weeks. Technology allows work to follow you home at night and on the weekends. A 4-day week would be a positive thing for an employee's mental health." Gretchen Herbst Congressional School
"The People are ready."
"Wake up NVCC. Competition is fierce so stop extolling France and other EU nations as some idealistic fantasy. If you want the economy to grow abundantly, then people need to work. If people don't want to work, that's fine, but don't impose this nonsense on all of us who want to compete and win."
"Since Covid, we have learned how to successfully work from home. Employees want to continue to work from home, However, we believe we work better when we are together. Offering a 4-day work week would allow additional flexibility so that we could better enforce working from the office."
"our firm is already doing it..."
"Two days isn't long enough to disconnect and relax for another 40+ hour workweek."
"The Federal government is responsible for a lot of jobs both government and private sector, in order for Northern VA to be ready, the Federal government needs to be accepting of it."
"Employees are already working more than 40 hours. Giving them a 40-hour workweek will give them the option to stop working when they need to take a break."
"We still need to be available to our customers. Until there is some critical load of businesses that also use a 4-day work week, companies that are on the cutting edge will risk alienating clients/customers. Implementation still needs to be worked out. If your company is based on teams of staff, then do you spread your 4-day working staff out over 5 days, or do you just call your week Monday through Thursday for everyone and the weekend starts on Friday?"
"With our economy built on consulting, contracting and legal industries and a 2080 hour schedule it would be disruptive beyond the idea of hybrid model of work"
"Seems like a great idea. Paying people to work less has turned out great during the post-pandemic boom. Inflation is through the roof and there is a worker shortage. For other examples of why this won't work, see: France. The US economy is built on hard work. Reward that and the economy grows. Pay people not to work, become France. The choice is simple."
"My work is most effective between 30 and 35 hours a week. The rest gets sluggish, sloppy, and mistake-filled. Days could be staggered throughout staff so coverage is not an issue (T, W, TH, F v. M, T, W, Th v. M, T, Th, Fr). Other sectors of the economy thrive if we have more playtime. Because life is not work."
"Maybe a 40-hour four day work week (10 hrs/day for 4 days). 32 hours/week is practically part-time for many businesses (especially for salaried employees) and might encourage businesses to drop or reduce benefits for employees working those reduced hours."
"I think in this area, people will still get 40 hours of work done within four days and not let anything slip. They will likely even do some work on the fifth day, but it will be a huge asset to have that flexibility."
"COVID resulted in many people working well over 40 hours. Returning to a reasonable and productive work week (40-45 hours) is important. If we become lax we will have no chance of competing with foreign interests that are working very hard to displace our U.S. economic interests and capabilities."
"It is really hard to get a good work-life balance when working 40 hours per week, which leads to burnout and high turnover. In addition, with our connectedness these days, work spills into evenings, weekends, and holidays. The expectation seems to be that you respond to emails and text messages late into the night and on weekends. I believe productivity would not go down if people work 4 days, and I believe that has been proven in companies that have implemented this."
"While working from home, we are all putting in additional hours already. This will lessen commute times, as there will be less people on the roads!!"
"This is a socialist model that is not what America is about."
"Contracts with Gov't, completing requirements for compliance."
"Is the intention that salaries will also reduce by 20% when hours are reduced 20%? Wouldn't the increased staff mean an increase in costs by 20% or greater? Wouldn't this then lead to greater inflation? Many employers are having difficulty hiring qualified staff. Where would an increase of 20% more staff come from in the labor supply?"
"It will impact overall productivity"
"Companies are already offering this."
"I'd luv everyone working 4 days - it will make it that much easier working 5 to separate the great work I do and become more successful while everyone else on a constant 3-day weekend. Go For It!"
"I worked a four day work week years ago when Ernst and Young went to a flexible schedule for its employees. It worked out great and at that time, EY was one of the first companies to go to a "flexible" schedule." -Lisa Nesbitt