The 4-Day Work Week Could Be Coming. Here's How It Could Save You Money

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  • There's a pilot program across 38 North American companies that has workers only putting in four work days a week.
  • The goal is to maintain productivity but give people a better work-life balance.

Talk about a much-wanted change.

The COVID-19 pandemic served as a wake-up call for a lot of people to reassess their priorities. And for some, that's meant scaling back on work or finding a way to achieve a better work-life balance.

One new program is aiming to promote just that. A new initiative led by 4 Day Week Global recently kicked off across the U.S. and Canada. As part of that program, 38 companies are letting workers do their jobs for four days a week instead of five. The goal is to encourage workers to do their jobs more efficiently so they're able to maintain 100% productivity despite working a day less. And the program does not require workers to take any sort of pay cut.

Of course, this is just a pilot program, so it's too soon to get excited about the idea of a four-day work week becoming the norm. But if that were to happen, it would no doubt improve many people's quality of life. It might also result in serious savings. Here are some of the ways a shorter work week could result in you spending less.

1. Lower commuting costs

If you drive to work every day, having to do that one day less per week could result in less money spent on expenses like gas, tolls, and parking. Given where gas prices are at these days, that could mean much lower credit card bills at the end of the month.

2. Lower childcare costs

Childcare is a huge expense for working parents. If you were to switch over to a four-day work week, it could mean paying for one fewer day of childcare per week. And the savings there could be huge. Even if you don't pay for full-day care, you might save money by not having to hire an after-school babysitter that extra day a week.

3. Lower pet care costs

If you're out of the house for many hours at a time to go to work, you may need to rely on a dog walker to care for your pet while you're away. If you were to start going to the office one day fewer each week, your pet care costs might shrink.

Could a four-day work week be possible?

The idea of a broad four-day work week may seem like a pipe dream. But let's remember that two years ago, most people were not able to do their jobs remotely, and these days, remote work is practically the norm. And so you never know what broad changes could come down the pike as companies realize how important it is for employees to manage a solid work-life balance.

In fact, the purpose of the four-day work week program isn't to have people work less -- it's to have them do their jobs more efficiently. If companies help promote that by cutting out meetings and needless administrative tasks to allow for a four-day work week, it could result in an uptick in productivity across the board. And in that situation, everybody wins.

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