The Four-Day Workweek

Book description

This provocative book makes a compelling case for reducing the number of workdays in a week to four. Globalization has brought with it fiercer competition and greater worker mobility, and as organizations compete for top talent, they are becoming more open to unconventional worker arrangements, such as remote working and flextime.

International business expert, Robert Grosse, draws on scholarly research to construct an appealing argument for why the four-day workweek benefits both the organization and the employee. Research has demonstrated that longer work hours harm the individual and don’t amount to a more effective organization, which begs the question: then why do it? The book goes beyond merely arguing that a reduced workweek is a good idea. It delves into why, explores the means for achieving it, and scrutinizes the barriers to getting there.

This is a book for forward-thinking executives, leaders, and academics who understand that work–life balance is the secret sauce not only for organizational success, but also for greater productivity and satisfaction in their careers and those of the people they manage.

Table of contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright Page
  5. Dedication
  6. Contents
  7. Preface
  8. Acknowledgments
  9. One  Introduction
    1. The Basic Premise
    2. Organization of the Book
    3. Notes
    4. References
  10. Two  Quality of Life and Satisfaction/Happiness
    1. The Goal of Work
    2. The Correlation between Less Work and More Satisfaction
    3. A Note on Happiness
    4. The French 35-Hour Workweek
    5. Differences between the US and European Countries
    6. Happiness and Income
    7. Let People Choose – But Establish a 32-Hour, Four-Day Baseline
    8. Notes
    9. References
  11. Three  Motivation and Productivity
    1. Motivation in Experiments with a Four-Day, 40-Hour Compressed Workweek
    2. Productivity in Experiments with a Compressed Four-Day, 40-Hour Workweek
    3. Examples of Reduced-Hours, Five-Day Workweeks
    4. Motivation and Productivity in Examples of Four-Day, 32-Hour Workweeks
    5. Productivity Increases in the US over the Years
    6. Conclusions
    7. Notes
    8. References
  12. Four  What Will People Do with More Time Free from Work?
    1. Sectors That Would Face Increased Demand
    2. Spending Patterns in the 20th Century
    3. Conclusions
      1. Appendix
    4. Notes
    5. References
  13. Five  Compensation
    1. Introduction
    2. Six Scenarios
      1. Scenario 1
      2. Scenario 2
      3. Scenario 3
      4. Scenario 4
    3. Worker Responses and Possible Government Policies
    4. An Empirical Check on Productivity vs. Hours Worked and Wages
    5. A Consideration of US Income Inequality
    6. Conclusions
    7. Notes
    8. References
  14. Six  Man vs. Machine – Job Losses with Technology Advances
    1. Introduction
    2. Some History from the 19th and 20th Centuries
    3. The 21st Century
    4. Employment and Automation across Industry Sectors
    5. Conclusions
    6. Notes
    7. References
  15. Seven  Logistics – How Can It Be Done?
    1. Businesses/Offices that Are Open 40 Hours, 5 Days per Week
    2. Restaurants/Hotels/Businesses that Are Already Open for Extended Hours, Say Seven Days a Week
    3. Schools/Colleges/Universities
    4. Doctors, Lawyers, and Other Professionals
    5. Managers and other Salaried Employees
    6. The Financial Challenge
    7. Who Jumps First?
    8. Adjustment Costs
    9. Examples
    10. Conclusions
    11. Notes
    12. References
  16. Eight  Some History on the Length of the Workweek
    1. Introduction
    2. History from the Beginning of the Industrial Revolution
    3. The 1800s
    4. The Early 1900s – Major Changes
    5. After World War II – Reduced Unionization
    6. 1970s – Compressed Workweeks
    7. Since 2000 – More Flexible Workweeks
      1. Flexible work hours
      2. Working from Home (or Elsewhere Away from the Workplace)
    8. Conclusions
      1. Appendix
    9. Notes
    10. References
  17. Nine  The Future of Work
    1. Introduction
    2. How Does This Relate to the Four-Day, 32-Hour Workweek?
    3. Part-Time vs. Full-Time Workers
    4. Flexible Schedules
    5. Contractees vs. Employees
    6. Faster Job Rotation
    7. Technology Change
    8. Economic Cost Changes (Especially in Communications and Transportation)
    9. New Work Models – Uber, Ace Hardware, Airbnb, and eBay
    10. Malone’s Networks Idea
    11. The Digital Age of Schmidt and Cohen
    12. Jacob Morgan’s Future of Work for Employees and Employers
    13. What Do People Want from a Job? Income, Friends, Safety, Health, Routine, Freedom/Flexibility, Creativity, Freedom in Decision-Making, and Hierarchy vs. Democracy
    14. Conclusions
      1. Appendix
    15. Notes
    16. References
  18. Ten  This Won’t Work
    1. Introduction
    2. Reasons Why It Won’t Work
      1. Cost to the Workers in Lost Income and Companies in Lost Output
        1. Workers Pay the Cost of Reduced Hours or Work
        2. Companies Pay the Cost of Reduced Hours of Work
        3. Companies and Workers Share Costs of the Reduced Workweek
      2. It Has Always Been Thus
    3. Reasons Why It Will Work
      1. The Existing Trajectory of Work Hours Over the Past Century
      2. There Actually Is Demand for a Shorter Workweek
      3. Demand Creates Its Own Supply
    4. Conclusions
    5. Notes
    6. References
  19. Eleven  Conclusions
    1. A Brief Review of the Previous Ten Chapters
    2. Notes
  20. Index

Product information

  • Title: The Four-Day Workweek
  • Author(s): Robert Grosse
  • Release date: May 2018
  • Publisher(s): Routledge
  • ISBN: 9781351673761