The Case for Three-Day Weekends


Grace Poster photo

Students leave school 90 minutes early on a recent early-release day.

In our society, we prioritize our labor output over our own health. Whether you’re sick or just want a day off, you have to come in to clock in that nine-to-five. The United States is in fact the only developed country to not offer mandatory maternity leave or paid leave for holidays and vacations. All of this and more has led to groups in the United States pushing for a four-day work week, as opposed to our current five-day schedule. 

In countries such as Iceland, New Zealand, Spain, and Japan, citizens have launched four-day pilots, which have reportedly increased productivity. According to Business Insider’s “Microsoft experimented with a 4-day workweek,” not only has the four-day work week already been proven to work in other countries, but it has been seen to be more effective. Microsoft Japan noticed a 40 percent boost in productivity after implementing the four-day schedule. Microsoft also reported that electricity consumption was down 23.1% as well.

Contrary to the shortened week, weakened labor laws and new technologies have actually allowed bosses to work their employees far beyond the standard 40-hour work week. People just don’t want to work in our current day conditions in our modern America. According to the New York Times’ “Is the Four-Day Workweek Finally Within Our Grasp?,” the idea of a shortened work week echoes decades into the past. Even former president Jimmy Carter agreed that a four-day work week would benefit all Americans and  “would conserve energy amid the oil crisis, and considered urging companies to adopt it”.  

Some might claim that a four-day work week will make the life of a customer harder, as they will want to shop at places on Friday, which would be closed, unbeknownst to them. This will also allegedly hurt the economy, as laborers aren’t able to put out enough goods to meet demands due to the shortened timespan. 

However, the exact same argument could be made for our existing weekends. A lot of people do not work on weekends, but it is where customers do the majority of their shopping. Productivity does not decrease because we have weekends, and removing weekends might even lower productivity. Also, adding an extra day to the weekend would not majorly affect the economy as productivity goes up by a staggering amount. Americans need the four-day work week to advance and be more productive as a nation.