16 Pros and Cons of Working 4 10-hour Days

The standard 9-to-5, Monday through Friday work schedule has been the norm for a long time at many organizations.

However, as businesses look toward the future to meet the changing demands of the workforce, alternative schedules are gaining popularity.

One such work timetable is the 4/10 option whereby employees work four, 10-hour days per week with either Fridays or Mondays off.

Debates regarding the effectiveness of the 4/10 schedule have been raging for many years.

When deciding whether this schedule works best for you, it is important to understand the pros and cons.

Keep reading to learn more!

Pros of Work 4 10-Hour Days

There are many pros that must first be considered when determining if the 4/10 work schedule suites your needs, including:

52 Extra Days Off Per Year

The 4/10 work schedule offers employees an extra 52 days off per year!

This gives workers more personal, social, and family time, helps them save money on daycare due to the extra day off, manage personal matters and schedule appointments, and avoid using paid time off.

The extra time also gives personnel the opportunity to take short weekend vacations or longer family vacations while requiring fewer vacation days to be consumed.

Attract Talent

Most employees consider flexible work schedules during their job search.

Therefore a 4/10 work schedule could appeal to those seeking longer weekends and are willing to work longer hours during the week.

Since this idea is a more progressive measure in the global workplace, it could help improve recruitment efforts by attracting top talent compared to companies that offer standard bank hours.

This is especially appealing to those with active weekend social lives or who enjoy traveling.

Higher Employee Retention

In addition to helping attract the best talent levels, existing employees who prioritize weekend activities are more willing to remain at the company due to a more flexible work schedule.

The return on investment to the company is keep high performing employees within the organization and employees return to work refreshed after a long weekend making them more productive throughout the week.

Improve Productivity

New Zealand financial services company Perpetual Guardian implemented a 4/10 work week, and the results have been increased productivity, decreased stress levels, and an improved work-life balance among their employees.

Case studies show that by working fewer days, employees can focus more on work.

Most employees target getting to complete required tasks before the day ends, thus leading to increased productivity.

The company also found that longer weekends compensate for the increased work hours during the week.

Increased Job Satisfaction

Since employees have more time to spend with family and friends, they are more satisfied when at work during the week.

The extra day provides workers with time to decompress and relax, take weekend trips, focus on family, accept new hobbies, and do all the activities they love.

The result is a refreshed employee who is ready to work on Monday morning.

Lower Absenteeism

Given the scheduling flexibility offered by a 4/10 work week, you have more time to conduct regular tasks and catch up on life, which means you won’t be absent as much due to that extra appointment or task that needs to be completed.

For employers, this means employees are working more frequently in the office, and fewer shift swaps, and understaffing virtually disappears.

Positive Environmental Impact

Fewer days commuting equates to fewer vehicles driving, thus decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to improved environmental health.

For employees who are more environmentally focused and want to work for companies looking to implement innovative sustainability options, the 4/10 work schedule might be a major draw for implementation.

Reduced Stress

Around 66 percent of employees experience burnout on the job at one time or another.

One of the greatest benefits of a 4/10 work schedule is having the extra day helps recharge your batteries by relieving job-related pressures.

Although the work week will be more hectic and could increase stress due to the extra hours, a three-day weekend has proven to be an effective opportunity to kick back, relax, and alleviate the pressures of the other four days.

Save on Commuting

With the extra day off at the beginning or end of the week, employees can save significant money and time on commuting to and from the office.

Commuting employees will only need to deal with expensive fuel and traffic jams four times per week instead of five.

For power commuters in major cities that have over a one-hour commute, having to trek into the office one less day per week is a significant cost and mental health savings.

Cons of Work 4 10-Hour Days

While 52 extra days off per year sounds appealing, the 4/10 work schedule is a trade-off and is not for all lifestyles and preferences.

Many love the extra time off while others hate working longer hours.

These are the cons of a 4/10 work week.

Can Create Employee Conflicts

The 4/10 schedule is not always the best option for support teams, so some employers only implement this schedule for specific departments and functions within the business.

Those who want longer weekends but are not part of the teams that are privy to this could think it’s unfair.

This creates animosity and jealousy between departments making work conditions difficult.

Also, there could be scheduling conflicts between support teams working five days per week and those that only work four days.

Customer Service Problems

For those in sales or customer service, having a non-traditional work schedule can be problematic.

Clients typically understand that employees won’t respond to issues outside of typical business hours, but when a challenge occurs during a standard workday and they don’t get a response, you will hear about it on Monday.

That means an individual or group must be present during the extra day off to address client issues.

Less Personal Time During the Week

Since the workday increases from 8 to 10 hours, employees have limited time to spend with family and friends during the week.

This can disrupt their daily routine, childcare, family life, social life, and overall lifestyle.

Also, working 9 AM to 7 PM, for instance, may not allow parents to see their children perform in plays or engage in sporting events since most occur shortly after school lets out for the day, but not too late into the night.

Longer Workdays

Many employees are never able to adjust to a 10-hour workday.

This means the extra hours put in per day may not be productive.

Furthermore, a shorter work week means employees must cram a five-day workload into four days, which increases pressure and stress.

This added stress can become overwhelming and those who are not prepared for the extra two hours per day could fail.

Not Right for All Businesses

Companies that need employees during regular business hours, such as manufacturers, hospitals, and customer support, may need a more flexible 4/10 schedule to ensure there’s coverage.

For example, management could split the staff into two teams alternating days off every week.

The result is increased staffing problems, more scheduling work, and the potential for employee complaints when vacations or time off are needed.

Potential for Overtime

The 4/10 schedule often leads to the need for overtime, which can cost companies money.

This is due to employees needing to work additional hours to complete their tasks.

For salaried employees who don’t get overtime, having to work a few extra hours on Friday or over the weekend is the opposite goal of this work schedule and can lead to extra stress and pressure to meet deadlines.

Transition Period

If your company is switching from an 8 to 10-hour shift, there likely will be a transition period.

Although two hours per day may seem minimal, it can add up for those who aren’t used to it.

Therefore, it’s important to take shorter extra breaks for employees to get fresh air and have a mental break from their screens.

Also, water breaks to remain hydrated, and snack breaks to keep your energy consistent are crucial, especially in physically and mentally strenuous jobs.

14 Pros and Cons of Working 4 10-hour Days – Summary Table

Pros of Work 4 10-Hour DaysCons of Work 4 10-Hour Days
52 Extra Days Off Per YearCan Create Employee Conflicts
Attract TalentCustomer Service Problems
Higher Employee RetentionLess Personal Time During the Week
Improve ProductivityLonger Workdays
Increased Job SatisfactionNot Right for All Businesses
Lower AbsenteeismPotential for Overtime
Positive Environmental ImpactTransition Period
Reduced Stress
Save on Commuting

Should You Work 4 10-Hour Days?

The decision as to whether you should work 4 10-hour days per week is highly personal and depends on your specific lifestyle.

If you can easily manage to work 10-hour days and be rewarded a free day off at the end of each week to travel, spend time with friends and family, or engage in new activities, then having a 4/10 schedule might be highly beneficial for your mental health.

On the other hand, those who have children and want to watch them perform or play sports will miss out due to the extended weekday hours.

This can be a major drawback for those with a family-oriented lifestyle.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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