Andrew Yang wants Americans to have longer weekends.
In a tweet posted on Memorial Day, the former Democratic presidential candidate advocated for four-day workweeks, arguing that it would create more jobs and actually improve productivity.
“Three-day weekends are better than two-day weekends. We should seriously look at four-day workweeks,”
. “Studies show that we would be just as productive. It would create jobs at the margins and improve mental health.”
The entrepreneur’s tweet includes a link to a Washington Post article
about New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who recently floated the idea of a four-day workweek.
After New Zealand had COVID-19 under control, Ardern had been looking for ways to boost domestic tourism, considering broader changes in the context of the workplace.
“I’ve heard lots of people suggesting we should have a four-day week. Ultimately, that really sits between employers and employees,” she said, before encouraging companies to think about it.
Numerous studies back the efficiency of four-day workweeks. One is a 2019 study from Microsoft Japan
, which saw a 40% increase in productivity after implementing the schedule.
Employees in Japan literally die from being overworked — so common a phenomenon that they actually have a name for it — karoshi. So in August last year, Microsoft Japan reduced meeting times, closed its offices on Fridays and paid full-time employees during those days.
Perpetual Garden, a real estate planning company in New Zealand, permanently adopted a four-day workweek after experimenting in 2018. Founder Andrew Barnes stressed that it’s all about working smarter, not longer.
“We have this perception that you’ve got to work five days a week, 9-5. What we are really talking about is changing how people are behaving when they are at the office,”
he told CNBC
“There’s certain firms that would want to manage their coverage needs by employing more people, if they had a shorter workweek. So there are, at least, certain firms that I believe would employ more people, if the workweek was shorter,”
Yang told Newsweek
“Let’s say you’re in the hospitality business. You need to have coverage seven days a week, over a wide range of roles. And let’s say right now, you have 30 people, covering all shifts.
“If you had shorter workweeks, you might need to hire an additional five or six people.”
Yang’s proposal has been met with plenty of support, including from former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci.
“#YangGang is a force to be reckoned with in 2024,”
. “Data shows 4-day work week increases efficiency, job creation and mental health. The guy just gets it.”
Some shared other benefits that could come out of a four-day workweek, such as retailers reopening more safely as COVID-19 quarantine policies relax.