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The five-day workweek may be over in NYC

Are leaders beginning to see the light?

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver

Imagine what you could do with a three-day weekend. You could finally catch up on your sleep, get to the museum for that show you've been wanting to see, have another day to brunch with friends, and actually not spend your whole weekend just doing chores and errands. A four-day workweek would be a game-changer.

Well, a four-day work week program is officially underway in the U.S. and Canada—38 companies started their new schedules on April 1 and will work four-day weeks for six months as a test to see if the international results can be duplicated. The program has already been kicked off in the U.K. and in New Zealand, where revenue went up and staff turnover dropped. In 2019, Microsoft Japan tried it and reported a 40 percent jump in productivity with the program—along with an associated guideline that no meeting can go over 30 minutes.

These companies are being asked to do the same amount of work as before, and for up to 35 hours per week, but this will be split over four days not five. They will also be paid the same as before.

And while making a four-day workweek more widespread seems like a long shot given American work culture, the pandemic really changed things, according to New York Governor Kathy Hochul and NYC Mayor Eric Adams. Both of them have admitted the five-day workweek may be a thing of the past.

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Governor Hochul spoke about the five-day workweek saying "it may never be a five-day week again," according to The New York Post.

"It may be four days with flexibility," she said. "It may be three and a half."

And while this sounds like she's totally reversed her stance on getting people back into their offices, she hasn't. She just understands that it may happen fewer days a week because employers may not be able to get people to come back full-time to the office. 

Those of us who have worked from home these past two years have gotten used to the convenience and comfort of working from home. There's no awful commute and we don't have to put up with uncomfortable office culture. And with a rise in subway crime as of late, people feel safer working from home. According to reports, only 35 percent of NYC's workers have returned to the office full time.

That being said, Hochul said she'd like to see people go into the office "at least three to four days at minimum" to spur economic recovery, creativity and social development, The Post says.

Even more unbelievably, Mayor Eric Adams seemed to reverse his stance on getting New Yorkers back to the office. He said this week that we're "moving into a new era of working and what New York is going to look like," according to NBC New York.

But like Hochul, he believes the return to mostly in-person work is only a matter of time.

"One thing's for sure. You cannot remotely run a city like this. There must be in-work interaction," he said.

What do you think? 

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