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A 4-Day Workweek? AI-Fueled Efficiencies Could Make It Happen

The four-day workweek—in which employees work 32 hours and are paid for 40 hours—could be supported by artificial intelligence as it increases productivity and streamlines some workplace tasks.

Steve Cohen, New York Mets owner and hedge fund firm founder, is the latest to say it’s only a matter of time before the four-day workweek is adopted, thanks to AI, according to a Fortune report.

But AI by itself won’t usher in the change to a condensed workweek, the BBC reported.

“An openness to innovative work structures, an experimental mindset and, importantly, a culture grounded in high levels of trust are all important for the four-day workweek to be successfully adopted,” Na Fu, a professor in HR management at Trinity Business School in Dublin, told the news outlet. Additionally, workers will need to develop new skills “that can leverage, complement and lead AI, achieving the enhanced outcomes.” 

Changing the workweek hasn’t been addressed at the federal level since 1940, when Congress amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), thereby lowering the standard workweek from 44 hours to 40 hours.

U.S. lawmakers dissected the viability of a 32-hour workweek last month during a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions hearing chaired by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. A day ahead of the hearing, Sanders introduced a companion bill to the Thirty-Two Hour Workweek Act, which would reduce the standard workweek from 40 hours to 32 hours by amending the FLSA.

The 2023 SHRM Employee Benefits Survey found that only 9 percent of organizations have implemented a four-day workweek. 

SHRM Online collected the following news articles on this topic.

Cohen Says a 4-Day Workweek Is Coming

A four-day week is imminent because of the rapid proliferation of AI, Cohen said April 3 during a CNBC “Squawk Box” appearance.

Although he isn’t sure when exactly the shift will take place, he believes the four-day workweek is “an eventuality.” It’s an idea that influenced his 2023 investment in new golf league TGL. 

“I just think it’s an eventuality,” he said of a shorter workweek. “That’s just going into a theme of more leisure for people, which means golf rounds that go up, interest will go up [and] I guess courses will be crowded.” 

He noted, though, that if the markets remain open on Fridays, he doesn’t anticipate letting his traders take the day off. 


AI Could Make the 4-Day Workweek Inevitable

Working four days while getting paid for five is a dream for many employees. Yet, the dramatic shifts in the pandemic-era workplace have turned this once-unfathomable idea into a reality for some workers.

Some experts believe AI could accelerate the adoption of the four-day workweek. For the 2024 report The Impact of Technology on the Workplace, London-based news and events resource surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. business leaders. Researchers found that 29 percent of organizations with four-day workweeks use AI extensively in their firms’ operations, implementing generative AI (GenAI) tools such as ChatGPT as well as other programs to streamline operations. In comparison, only 8 percent of organizations with five-day workweeks use AI to this extent. And 93 percent of businesses using AI are open to a four-day workweek, whereas of those who don't, fewer than half are open to working shorter weeks.


Embracing the GenAI Revolution: A Strategic Blueprint for HR Leaders

In the span of less than one year, the corporate sphere has been revolutionized by the advent of GenAI, a technology that has swiftly transitioned from a novel concept to a cornerstone of innovation across diverse industries.

Corporate executives and senior HR leaders stand on the precipice of this transformative era, and it is paramount to recognize the instrumental role they play in steering GenAI adoption toward enriching the employee experience and enhancing organizational value for customers.

(SHRM Online)

GenAI and the Workforce

GenAI will touch a broad array of roles. In many cases, the impact will be less about automating away tasks than about augmenting workers’ productivity and effectiveness or transforming the definition of job roles altogether to capitalize on new technologies and new unit economics, according to a report from SHRM and The Burning Glass Institute. GenAI can assist professionals by enhancing their capabilities, making them more effective or efficient rather than replacing them.

(SHRM Research)


​An organization run by AI is not a futuristic concept. Such technology is already a part of many workplaces and will continue to shape the labor market and HR. Here's how employers and employees can successfully manage generative AI and other AI-powered systems.