A shorter workweek is being hailed as the future of employee productivity and work-life balance. Is it that easy to make work better?

The advantages of a four-day workweek appear to be numerous. The new schedule made it necessary for Koray Camgöz, a London-based PR officer, to better manage his time. While taking an extra day off each week, he was still able to complete tasks and meet deadlines. He got to spend more time with his child. Tuesdays and Wednesdays alternated as his days off. He still had to be available for emergencies on his day off because of the always-on environment, and in order to make up for it, he had to put in longer hours at work. According to Camgöz, it blurred the distinction between work and home. He would review his workload on a Sunday night and try to best allocate his time. But he asserted that any compromise was worthwhile. He was thankful that he was able to spend time with his son because he wouldn’t have otherwise. Additionally, it eased financial pressures because he could save £400 per month on private childcare by working just one extra day at home.

However, even though a workday is removed from the schedule, the workload frequently stays the same. Workers frequently have to adjust to new routines and longer hours when faced with a tighter schedule. A quick transition to a new working model can sometimes cause problems, as Camgöz discovered, especially if not everyone is on board with the change. The four-day workweek may have numerous benefits for certain people, but it may also have unintended drawbacks.