4-day workweeks surge as unemployment falls

Published: Oct. 10, 2019 at 3:19 PM EDT
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Unemployment is at historic lows and that has many companies fighting to find good workers. To attract new employees some businesses are offering an interesting perk.

A report out last year from the Society for Human Resource Management found 27% of companies offer compressed workweeks with four 10-hour days. Twelve percent go a step further and offer four days, but employees only have to work 32 hours a week.

"This four-day workweek is something we're starting to see as a trend," said Dawn Fay, a senior district president at the staffing agency Robert Half.

Fay says the tight job market has companies creating perks like flexible hours, the ability to work from home and even unlimited vacation.

"So there's a lot of different things that we're seeing out there that's helping companies try to attract and retain and keep employees from burning out," she said.

Andrew Colbertson is a digital marketing coordinator for Surestep, a company in Indiana. Even though he works full time, you won't find him in the office on Fridays. Employees have the option of working four 10-hour days.

"Knowing that on Fridays I get to be home with my son and wife, it’s wonderful," Colbertson said.

Surestep CEO Bernie Veldman says offering the four-day option has helped him attract new workers.

"People like having Friday off and I find myself that by the time Saturday rolls around, all the stuff I wanted to get done is already done on Friday and you really got more of your weekend to enjoy," Veldman said.

Colbertson says the four day week has boosted morale.

"Even if you have a rough Monday morning you know four days from now I have a long break," he said.

He can always look forward to a three-day weekend.

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