SURVEY SAYS: Condensed Work Week

My eldest son works four 10-hour days rather than five 8-hour days per week.

While the long days can be exhausting and not leave time for much else, it provides him with three days off and one during the week to schedule appointments so as not to miss work.


Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “Would you rather work five 8-hour days or four 10-hour days?”


The vast majority of responding readers (88.1%) indicated they would rather work four 10-hour days, while 11.9% would rather work five 8-hour days.


In verbatim comments, some readers expressed thoughts that an 8-hour work day is virtually non-existent in the retirement plan business. Among those selecting four 10-hour days, some said it would be an improvement because they work up to 10 hours during their five-day work week. Others offered a caveat that the third day off would have to be on Friday or Monday so they would have a 3-day weekend. Several readers explained that they work what is called a “9/80” work schedule—something I haven’t heard about until reading the responses. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “I’d rather work four 6-hour days. Six seems about the right amount given my energy and engagement level for work.”


Thank you to all who participated in the survey!



Our firm offers plenty of flexible work arrangements including one work from home day per week. Morale has improved materially. Time is precious, so if you can save 60 minutes of commuting time one day per week, putting in four 10 hour days is preferable to five eight-hour ones.

I already work a 9/80. One additional work hour would have little effect on my day. The one extra day off…. huge effect on my mental health!!

Actually, I’d rather not work five 11.5 hour days.

I think it would take an adjustment period, going in earlier and staying later. But the trade-off once you have established a routine would be worth it. Not all businesses allow you to flex your hours for appointments and you shouldn’t have to use vacation to schedule a dentist appointment. From companies that have implemented they see happier employees and less last minute call-ins for sick days.

I did this years ago. Having the time to get things accomplished at home during the week was a true blessing. I’d love to do it again!

My normal week is five 10-hour days

My people average 12 -15 hours per day EVERY day so they would love even 5 10 hour days.

I’d like to have the stamina to work 4 10-hour days. I often DO work 10-hour days. I actually work a hybrid 5/4/9 schedule – 8 9-hour days, 1 8-hour day, and every other Friday off. That extra day every other weekend is a godsend.

It really depends on your stage in life. As an empty nester, I would prefer to work longer and have an extra day to myself.

Who works five 8-hour days anymore?

I spend close to 1.5 hours each way (three hours a day commuting.) Working two “extra” hours would change the commute somewhat as the travel would be off-peak. I already put in 1 – 1 1/2 hours each day, but as an exempt employee do not get paid “overtime”. I would LOVE to have the additional time already worked recognized as time towards by usual work week in order to make it one day shorter.

It’s a close call. I did this for a year when my kids were younger; it was nice to have the day off without having to claim leave. Not sure I could do it now though because, as you say, the days can be exhausting.

As long as the day off fell on a Friday or Monday. I used to work 4 10 hour days, but the day off changed each week.

Four 10-hour days is definitely preferred if you don’t have kids, but might be challenging if you have kids.

My husband works four 10s – which I would also love to do to enjoy the 3-day weekends … but we would need another me in the family to get the kids to school at the right time.

Since I currently work five 10+ hour days, four 10-hour days would feel like part-time!

While only having to work 4 days per week sounds appealing, 10 hours per day is a bit long for me. At a prior employer I was able to choose a 9/80 schedule, which I loved. During a two week pay period I worked 9 hours/day Monday through Thursday both weeks, and worked 8 hours on one Friday. That gave me every other Friday off. As a department we had to coordinate our schedules as far as who regularly took the first Friday off and who took the second one.

I already work five 9 to 91/2 hours days as it is! So what’s another 1/2 hours if I actually got a whole day off!

My boss doesn’t want to allow four 10s because he is currently getting five 10-12 hour days out of me! But I sure could use the extra day to catch up at home, save commuting costs and have a bit of mental sanity.

I use Sunday as a day of rest and religious activity. So the idea of having 2 days to get things done and have fun doing activities with the family sounds wonderful.

While I’d love 3 day weekends every week, working a 10 hour day is too-o-o-o long.

Staggered workweeks can also help reduce the crowding on overburdened freeways and public transportation systems, since each there’s one less commuting day per employee per week.

For a while in my early 20’s, I had a work schedule of four 10-hour days. It was fantastic! Although 30 years later, 10-hour days are more taxing, but I would go to a 4-10 week without hesitation.

I’m scheduled for 5 eight hour days, but normally work 9.5 to 10 hours each day anyway. So, working 4 tens would be awesome, if actually limited to ten hour days.

I wouldn’t be able to swing 4 10 hour days while my kids are young…but maybe when they’re older 🙂

I have always worked a five day work week. I like the idea of a four day work week but at this point in my life, I don’t know if I could make the switch. I would like to try though. The thought of 3 day weekends sounds like heaven to me!

I get re-energized in late afternoon, so a 4-day work week would be great. I’m also not a spring chicken and have some chronic health issues. Would be great to have a weekday open for doctor visits.

We actually tried this at the company I work for. While many liked it, it was not conducive to a positive client experience due to our business model and previously developed client expectations. So, after about two months, it was scrapped and we went back to a 5 day work week.

I regularly work 10 to 11 hour days and sometimes on weekends and often while I am on “vacation”. I would just love to go back to the days when I only needed to work 37.5 hour weeks and Fridays were slow days.

That being said, I currently work a 9/80 schedule (44 hours one week, 36 hours the second week with every other Friday off). I used to work 4-10s and spent too much of Friday sleeping so it was almost like a wasted day! I like the 9/80 schedule much better!

I’m already working five 9 1/2 hour days so working four 10 hours days would be a break!!

However, if the 4-day workweek became the standard, we would still have to miss work for appointments. So, keep it between us.

I would love to work 4 days, but not really achievable in financial services. What I would really like is 5 -8 hour days, because I’m really working 5 – 10 hour days now!

Would want varying days off

Advantages to 4 days. Really focus and get things done knowing you have 3 days off for other things.

Where we live, the public schools have a 4-day week as well, and it works well to have that weekday to schedule appointments and still get a weekend. It would be convenient if my work schedule was the same!

Since I already work 5-10 hour days plus the occasional weekend few hours, plus check emails on my phone after hours, I would LOVE to have only 4-10 hour days!

It would beat working five 10-hour days that I am doing now.

The three day weekend is too big a perk to let pass.

Who really just works 8 hour days, anyway?!? Shift workers?

As a salaried employee, I would love to work 4 ten hour days. It would be much relief from what I currently work (ten and sometimes twelve hours per day, 5 days a week!

My brother-in-law works nine 8.5 hour days and has every other Friday off [same Friday company wide]. I’ve always thought that to be ideal!

You are already dressed–might as well stay the extra hours!

I end up working 9-10 hour days five days a week anyway, so formally working four 10 hour days would be great.

Actually, I would rather work five 10 hour days rather than five 12 hour days and countless weekend hours. Who gets to work 8 hour days in this business?

Oh hell yeah!

Does anyone really work five 8 hour days? More like five 10 hour days already, especially since we are constantly connected by smart phone. My guess is that a condensed work week would become four 12 hour days, plus several hours plugged in on the so-called “day off”.

Wow! Three day weekends every week – how awesome! I’m typically working 10 hour days anyway…

Given I usually work in excess of 5 10-hour days, cutting back to 4 10-hour days seems like a dream.

One department I worked for many years ago, allowed employees to choose four 10-hour days during the summer months, if they wanted. The only caveat was that your group had to have coverage all five days.

I usually put in more than 40 hours, so my 10 hour days would be even longer. My perfect work week would be 4 9 hour days, day 5 work from home 4 hours and take off the other 4 hours.

I would love a 4 day work week.

I already work four 10 hour days and usually the 10 on the fifth as well 🙁

Everyone definitely needs a business day during the week to take care of business and appointments which would eliminate weekday absenteeism. Some things have to be done between 8 and 5 and only on Monday through Friday as banks, doctor’s offices, dentists etc are only open M – F.

It would really help reduce my commute time.

40 hour workweek? So quaint. Working 4 10 hour days sounds so much better than working 5 10+ hour days!

Especially when you have a long way to travel, > 30 minutes each way, over the week, you devote less time to work (work + commuting). For our field personnel, it gives us a flexible day during the week to reschedule in case of rain.

I do already work a 10 hour a day schedule. Unfortunately it is part of a five day work week. Not sure who works only 40 hours anymore.

Many people work 10 hours a day already even though their work schedule is 8 hours. Getting free time in the middle of the week would be fantastic!

I am sure that many answering this survey are working five (or more) ten-hour days!

I’d actually take either as both are better than my current five-10 hour day schedule that also includes taking work home when I leave.

Yes, yes, yes! A thousand times YES! I traditionally work 5 ten (or more) hour days!

I wish 4 10s were a “thing” earlier in my career!

A lot of us already work 10 hour days, so why not make it official and give us the extra day off!?

I have worked both and they both have their pros and cons. Currently, I work 4 7.5 hour days and a 5 hour Friday, which is a great setup. I am able to do a full weeks of work and have most of my Friday afternoon off…however, a lot of places that I would like to make my appointments don’t schedule for Fridays, so I still end up taking time off during the week. If it was easy to schedule things, take time off and still get work done, we’d all be doing it…a lot happier…and a little less crazy! 😉

You would have the ability to get more work done, and also have the ability to schedule appointments, etc. on the fifth day of the week, which would result in greater productivity at the office and less missed time due to taking PTO for various reasons. Or, just more time to relax on an extended weekend! It would be a win-win for all parties.

I’d love having a three day weekend every week! Though during busy times it would be 5-6 days a week working.

Some of our staff work a 9-80. One week they work 4- 10’s and the next week they work 5-8’s. So over a two week pay period they work 80 hours.

I already work 10-hour days, but FIVE days a week, so going to four days would be GREAT!

Would love the idea of working four 10 hour days during the summer months.

As long as the day off is Monday or Friday allowing for a constant 3 day weekend. But I have heard individuals making Wednesday their day off just to break up the week. Plus it give a sanity break from some of those individuals who are a challenge to work with.

While I do ten hour days five days a week most of the time anyway the Four 10-hour days opens my eyes. However, if you are still behind you would probably have to work that fifth day anyway which ruins the benefit.

I’d love a four day work week but suspect that unless everyone else was on the same schedule, I’d be doing at least some work on the fifth day.

I wish I only worked 8 hours a day in a 5-day week!

I am already working 10 hour days…but five times a week.

I would do 4 tens if it meant that I had 3 consecutive days off in a row every week.

Four 10 hour days does not work when you have kids in school.

I would much prefer the flexibility of an extra day off with the four 10-hour days

Having the third day off to ‘get things done’ so you can still thoroughly enjoy 2 days off to relax really revives you before returning to work again.

I used to work the 4×10’s and loved it! The extra 2 hours took some getting used to in the beginning, but well worth it. Unfortunately, this “flex time” was abolished because a previous VP, (who btw is no longer employed) didn’t like it.

I worked the four 10 hours work week for a few years. The job was also flexible on the days of the week I could work and I could change my days off from week to week. I could schedule 3 days off at the end of one week and 3 days of at the beginning of the next week to get a 6 day vacation without using any personal time. It was great.

I worked at client sites where they had the four 10-hour day work week and I was envious. Unfortunately, I had a five 10-hour day work week at the time.

I work five 10-hour days. How do I sign up for only four?

I am an administrator in an academic setting, so I am able to work four 10-hour days during the summer months. I wish I could work this schedule year-round. Yes, it is mentally exhausting, but I find that I sleep much better throughout the work week while working this schedule. Additionally, that extra day off at the end of the work week (Friday, in my case) allows me to not only schedule appointments but to also complete household chores so that I can actually enjoy two full days on the weekend. Score!

My company presently has a 9/80 work schedule. We work 9 hours Monday through Thursday and 8 hours on the one Friday we work. We get every other Friday off.

Another 2 hours at day’s end would go by very quickly, so having a 3 day weekend every week would be fantastic. Even 4 days at 9 hours a day, and a 1/2 day on Friday would be great! But, it’s all about the clients, so no can do.

I had a friend that worked two 16 hour nursing weekend overnight – with all those pay differentials – and had the entire week off to spend with kids. I usually have enough flexibility in my job that I can work crazy hours during the school year – sometimes 60-80 hours weeks in peak season – AND still manage to make every event for my kids. I always leave early on Friday (if I work at all) during the school year and most of my time off is scheduled for school days off, religious holidays, and summer vacation to be with my kids. Especially August. I usually take 2 weeks off at end of summer to take trips with the kids. I believe FLEXIBILITY is the key to employee/employer relationships. Employers that get on board with this will have much happier and more productive employees.

If it was just me, I would prefer the four 10 hour days but the five 8 hour days give me more time and flexibility during the week for my kids activities in the evenings.

I am mentally fatigued by the end of an 8 hour day. I can’t imagine a longer workday. But I suppose it is something you become adjusted to. Nurses and others do it all the time.

When I was younger, the 4 tens probably would have been my choice. Now that I am well into my ’60’s I vote for the 5 eights, which in and of itself, tells us something about generations in the workforce and the need for flexibility. Of course, I really would prefer 4 eights but not quite yet!

I already work 10 hour days pretty much of the time. I would like to have that extra day off for errands, appointments, etc.

I’d love to work four 10-hour days instead of the five 11-hour days I’m putting in.

I don’t have a condensed work week, but I have rearranged my schedule so I work all my hours over a 5-day period, but have one afternoon a week off so I can volunteer at the local women’s prison. If I could design my perfect work day, it would start EARLY (6 am?) and end early too.

I have done both and definitely prefer the 4-10 work week. I already have to get up and get ready for work so I might as well spend 2 extra hours a day so I can have a day off.

I’d rather work four 6-hour days. Six seems about the right amount given my energy and engagement level for work.

Four 10’s beats my current 5 11’s – I’d take it any day

Let’s be honest, I work 11-12 hr days as it is, and would probably check e-mail on the “day off” for an hr or two, so the question is rhetorical, correct?

I already average 5 10 hour days. 4 would be a vacation!

I would love to work four 10 ‘s instead of five 10 or 11’s



NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not necessarily the stance of Strategic Insight or its affiliates.