Work-life balance is a huge buzz phrase in the business world. Everyone looks to work for the employer that offers the most lenient work schedule. While some people love to pitch working from home to their bosses, others take it a step further and try to only work a four-day week.
Four day work-weeks are highly coveted by both employers and employees for different reasons. They can use this extra time with their families and to pursue their hobbies and travel. Caring for children and the elderly also becomes easier when you have more time.
It’s one less day of commuting, which saves money in your pocket and patience for traffic. Not to mention, at first it seems exciting to have a three day weekend every week. Additionally, employers reduce their overhead costs when employees are working less.
Studies conducted by Brigham Young University show that those surveyed had a positive perspective on working a four-day workweek. Additionally, companies like Microsoft are making the switch and have announced a significant boost in productivity.
I can relate to the desire to condense your work schedule as I left my day job for a more flexible working arrangement as a self-employed person. However, many people don’t realize that working a four-day workweek can actually be hazardous to your health.
Working long hours can make you feel more tired each day. You’ll be working the same number of hours in less days.
So, your days will be longer by either going into work early or staying late four days a week. And it just compounds on itself as the week goes on until you eventually crash during the weekend and then start all over again the following week.
Studies have shown that your risk of having an industrial accident increases by 37% when you work over 12 hours in a day, and by 61% when you’re working an overtime shift.
Working four days instead of five each week can also make you feel like you have less time to get things done, even though you are working the same number of hours.
Time will be short at work and at home, which can take a toll on your mental health.
You may feel behind and less productive as a result of working longer each day. If you are rushed to get your work done, you may even feel overwhelmed and like you need to catch up on everything during your days off.
Risk of chronic disease
What is even more scary is that there is a correlation between working long days and developing serious health complications like heart disease, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, chronic lung disease, or asthma.
When you burden yourself with long workdays, you are literally putting your health at risk. So it may be better to think about long-term health rather than the seemingly good idea of having off three days each week.
You may be skeptical about this viewpoint because working fewer days is really appealing. Yes, you’ll work the same 40 hours despite whether you work four days or five days a week.
After reading this article, you may still pursue a flexible working arrangement even or continue working your condensed four-day workweek schedule.
However, keep your health at the forefront of your mind by being cognizant of the risks.