Conversion of workweeks to 4 days is beneficial to both businesses and employees

Dear Luschen, Hi, I hope you are well. I wonder if you could have a glance to the following. Thanks a lot.


4-Day Workweek

The popular 5-day workweek has long been a staple in U.S. business. With employees working 8 hours a day for a total of 40 hours a week, it has been seen as a model of efficiency. However, some companies and government agencies have begun converting to a 10-hour-a-day, 4-day workweek. This conversion offers numerous benefits to both businesses and employees and should be seriously considered.

First, a 4-day workweek will alleviate some considerable expenses for the average employee. A recent national survey found that 34% of prospective employees turned down job offers because of long commutes to work. With the high cost of gas and vehicle maintenance, eliminating one day’s driving per week will reduce expenses by quite a bit, making the idea of working far from home more appealing and giving employees the opportunity to use the money saved to cover other, more pressing costs.

Second, reducing the number of working days will lower the operating costs of most businesses; employers won’t need to keep their business open an extra day. This will result in less money spent on fixed expenses, such as lighting and air conditioning, helping to improve a company’s profitability. By eliminating one business day, companies will not only save significantly on operating expenses but also have the additional benefit of a more efficient workforce continually energized with a 3-day weekend.

Third, a 4-day workweek will improve the ability of employees to spend time with their families. Work is often cited as the major reason why parents don’t spend time with their children and one reason why some stop working. With a reduced workweek, they will spend an extra day with their children and other loved ones, helping to improve their overall quality of life and thus sending them back to work happier.


4-Day Workweek

Now, the article implies that reducing the workweek by a day would be beneficial for both employees and businesses. Ok, true, there would be some benefits, but not nearly enough to justify such a dramatic change. The arguments made by the author are weak and unconvincing.

First off, true, taking away a working day will reduce the amount of money spent on gas, but by how much? Most people drive about 30 miles to get to work. On average, that will total something like. . . uh. . . 15-20 dollars in gas money, money saved by not working a day; that’s a savings of about 850 dollars a year. Is that enough to justify such a dramatic change to the overall structure of the business workweek? Not to me.

The next point, about lowering the operating costs of businesses, is misguided. Think about it, if a business is open 5 days during the week and it cuts its working week to 4, it could lose up to 20% of its business. Even though it’ll be open 2 more hours during those 4 days, those 2 hours will occur late in the evening, a time when most potential customers will have gone home and no longer want to do business. Saving a few hundred dollars on operating costs won’t justify losing up to 20% of your business.

Third, a 4-day workweek won’t significantly add to an employees’ time with family. With a 4-day workweek, employees will work 10-hour days. Consequently, those with young children will have to find day care facilities that are open late into the evening, a very difficult and possibly stressful task. And, for those with children old enough to be in school, their added day off won’t be with their children, since they will be in school for the first half of the day.


 The author states that conversion of workweek from 5 days to 4 days is beneficial for both businesses and employees and provides three reasons of support. The lecturer, however, believes that this change will not have much valuable advantages and contrasts each of the author's reasons.

 First, the article posits that a 4-day workweek will alleviate some major costs for the average employee. The professor, however, states that the amoun of money saved in this way is negligible. He explains that as people drive an average distance of 30 miles to get to their work, only 15 to 20 dollars will be saved by reducing workweek from 5 days to 4 days. This minor amount of money does not worth the change in the structure of workweek.

 Second, the author claims that reducing the number of working days will diminish the operating costs of most businesses. Meanwhile, the lecturer refutes this opinion by explaining that this decrement in the number of working days results in that up to 25% of people's business will be ruined. Besides, adding two hours to working days is not that logical, since if employees continue their work until late in the evening, many customers are at their home on that time and so, it cannot be considered as a positive influence.

 Finally, the passage says that a 4-day workweek will improve the ability of employees to spend time with their families. The professor contradicts this idea by explaining that not only this will not add leasure time for people but also forces the parents to spend some money on baby care, which is inherently stressful. Besides, as many childeren are at school in business days, it will not lead to a big change and generally is not much worthy.

TOEFL listening discussions: What position does Cindy play?

Hi Ameri, I thought you did a very good job with this essay. Your format is effective and you captured all the points from the lecture, though your very last point could have been more clear to me. Still, I would rate this one a 4.5 out of 5.