How much do you like working? That answer, of course, will vary from person to person depending on how much they enjoy their job.

But even if you do like your job, do you enjoy putting in a stressful amount of hours or only receiving two days off a week? Most might say no.

There's a good reason for that, and its why studies have been, and are currently being conducted to address this. That, of course, is the model of the 4-day work-week.

As of today, a majority of employers and employees who have been part of this experiment absolutely love it. However, there doesn't seem to be as big of an appetite for that here in New Jersey.

Before we get into the 50-plus problem that is arguably a bigger problem here in The Garden State, let's first dive into why some don't like or want to see a four-day work-week in the first place. Those who argue against shortening a standard workday in New Jersey.

And to note, those against a shorter work week actually help support keeping this 50-plus problem a reality.

Depressed frustrated trader tired of overwork or stressed by bankruptcy, sad shocked investor desperate about financial crisis or money loss, upset businessman having headache massaging nose bridge
Victoria Gnatiuk

I had to, so you have to

This has to be one of the most ridiculous excuses out there. Yes, you might've had to do it, but it doesn't mean that model is right for today.

We should always be looking for ways to improve our work-life balance. And yes, that means changing an outdated model if it makes sense to do so.

Most of us are pretty much still working a 5-day schedule, but a better work-life balance simply makes sense. And if working a 5-day schedule was rough on you, wouldn't you want to change that for the future?

Social scoring and credit rating concept on digital background. Analysing and profiling people by artificial intelligence technology 3D illustration.
Arkadiusz Wargu?a

Technology will take our jobs

Sometimes, advancement in technology does eliminate jobs. It's been happening all throughout time going as far back as when street lights used to have to be manually lit (yes, that was once a job).

As for the four-day work week, fears might come up that technology such as AI will eliminate work hours and pay by covering that fifth day. However, the way the model is structured is that the hours would be worked over the four days.

Meaning, an employee would work four 10-hour days as opposed to five 8-hour days. And from the study cited above, a vast majority of employees and businesses prefer this model.

Entering store just before closing and taking their time

10 hours per day is too long

Yes, 10 hours might seem long for a single workday, but it's not a set-in-stone rule. Not all companies that participated in these studies forced that onto their employees.

Instead, as long as the same workload was done by the end of the fourth day, all was good. Meaning, if the same productivity was achieved in less time, that's a win.

And it's more evidence that a work-life balance is so important. Whether in the office or remote, being able to have a third day away from work is a huge plus.

needy young adult
Carey Hope, ThinkStock

Today's workers are too soft

Wanting more time for your personal life is too soft? It's almost like saying work isn't meant to be fun.

The 40-hour, five-day-a-week model with the mindset that it should be draining is part of the problem. Two whole days on the weekend shouldn't be highlighted as your time to recharge for work, because that essentially means work should remain on your mind.

Yes, not all jobs are going to be fun, but it doesn't mean employers shouldn't do their part to make it at least as enjoyable as possible. And a four-day workweek might do just that.

But it doesn't mean today's younger workforce is soft. If anything, they're smart by trying to address the lack of personal time with the current 5-day, 40-hour workweek.

work hours / clock

Fix the 50+ problem first

For all those against the 4-day work week, this argument makes the most sense. Far too many New Jerseyans are currently working up to or in excess of 50 hours in a single week.

Some of them might be putting those same hours in at the same job because their employment type allows it. We're also a very expensive state, which is why some must work more than one job to make ends meet.

Even though an argument for a four-day workweek in New Jersey isn't strong, we do have a problem where some of us are way overworked. And this is certainly the most valid reason to be against focusing on 4-days instead of 50 plus.

Man Stressed Over Money
Cheryl Casey ThinkStock

One, or the other... or both

It's kind of a catch-22 if you think about it. If you fall among those who don't support a four-day workweek, you're essentially making it easier for employers to overload their employees.

At the same time, you could be against the 4-day model but in support of fixing this 50-plus problem here in New Jersey. You can't have a proper work-life balance if you're forced to work up to or in excess of 50 hours.

So yes, we need to address the 50-plus problem, no question there. But it also doesn't mean you can't be in support of moving toward a 4-day work week.

Just remember. Not supporting a 4-day workweek actually helps employers maintain their ability to overload their employees, some of whom already put in ridiculous amounts of hours.

Time of saveing value money : Coin calculator and clock, Idea of value to finance and saving money.

NJ company layoffs announced in 2024

New Jersey saw over 14,000 total layoffs in 2023, according to WARN data. By late February, there were 11 different notices of layoffs — including three company cutting 80 or more positions in NJ.

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt

These NJ town are getting poorer

In these 20 municipalities in New Jersey, the median household income has decreased or grown the least in a decade. The data is based on U.S. Census' American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates for the years 2012 and 2022.

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt

The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 Sunday morning host Mike Brant. Any opinions expressed are his own.

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