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A four-day workweek should be tested to see if benefits outweigh costs, says Harvard Business Review article co-authored by Dr Thomas Roulet of Cambridge Judge Business School.

Work-life balance

Thomas Roulet
Dr Thomas Roulet

The idea of a four-day workweek in Europe requires proper consideration through a trial-and-error approach, says a new article in the Harvard Business Review co-authored by Dr Thomas Roulet of Cambridge Judge Business School.

Where implemented, a shorter workweek has improved staff productivity and work quality due to fewer sick days and increased wellbeing, and has reduced employee commuting.

But a four-day workweek is “not
yet a silver bullet,” the article says, as many company leaders are
concerned about regulations governing work contracts, staffing challenges, and
bureaucracy to implement such a change.

A trial-and-error approach would “help us understand under which
conditions a shorter workweek might succeed and when the benefits can outweigh
the costs,” says the article.

The article – entitled “Will the four-day workweek take hold in Europe?” – is co-authored by Ben Laker, Professor of Leadership at Henley Business School, and Dr Thomas Roulet, Senior Lecturer in Organisation Theory at Cambridge Judge Business School.