Considering offering three-day weekends and flexible schedule arrangements to your employees? 

You’ve come to the right spot.

In this short guide, we’re overviewing what four-day work weeks are and the benefits of implementing them. We’re also going over what to include in your four-day work week policy and some template examples to inspire you. 

Ready to learn more?

Let’s get started.

What is a 4-day work week?

A four-day work week is an alternate schedule some companies offer team members. It usually consists of working four days instead of the typical five days. While that may mean a 32-hour work week for some employees, other companies still require team members to complete their 40 hours within those four days. 

Shorter work weeks have been on employers’ minds for years — but they’ve become a reality for many industries since the pandemic.

Many online businesses, such as tech companies and remote startups, also offer employees and contractors alternative work schedules. But it’s not just the SaaS industry that’s adjusted; the healthcare industry has, too. For example, facilities in compact nursing states often offer three- or four-day weeks to eligible travel nurses. This provides these nurses with more flexibility while also relieving some of the burden from full-time staff.

Benefits of offering a 4-day work week 

Flexible work schedules aren’t just a benefit to employees. They also help organizations see a boost in productivity. 

In fact, according to Tech.co, businesses reported that their overall productivity was either maintained or enhanced while trialing a four-day work week. 

They also reported lower turnover, happier employees, reduced costs, and fewer cases of burnout.

With results that speak for themselves, it’s no wonder millions of US businesses are considering implementing a four-day work week in 2024. 

If you’re ready to follow suit, read on to see what to include in your flexible schedule policy. 👇

What to include in a 4-day work week policy 

Include the following five basic headings in your compressed work schedule policy template. 

Important Tip: If you’re a new business, don’t forget to include your four-day work week policy in your business plan, you can check business plan examples to get inspiration. Go the extra mile by adding the specific cost savings and benefits you can look forward to by using flexible schedules at your organization.

Purpose 

Start by outlining the “why” behind your flexible schedule policy. At the minimum, you need to state that the policy is set forth to outline the guidelines employees will need to follow. 

You can also include the mutual benefits your business and employees can enjoy from implementing the new schedule.

Scope

Include a summary of who the policy applies to, such as full-time employees and team members with roles that are suitable for flexible schedule arrangements. You can also note what the policy will outline, such as expectations, specific eligibility requirements, and compensation. 

Eligibility requirements 

Be specific about which employees are eligible to participate in your four-day work week program. For example, you may require team members to pass a probationary period, work a certain amount of hours, or have a specific role.

Or, you may require team members to voluntarily request an alternative schedule that’s subject to approval. 

Hours and schedule options 

List the potential hours and schedule options your eligible team members can choose from. 

Here’s an example: 

Option 1 – Completely flexible, 40 hours, four days per week

Choose any four days of the week (from Sunday to Saturday) to work 10 hours per day. Choose any time of day to take your one-hour lunch break.

Option 2 – Hard early morning schedule, 32 hours, four days per week

Work eight hours per day Monday to Thursday from 4 am to 1 pm (with an hour break at 9 am). We will provide paid time off for eight hours each week.

Option 3 – Hard schedule, 40 hours, four and a half days per week 

Work a half day on Monday with no lunch break (choose morning or afternoon). Work eight and-half hours per day Tuesday to Friday from 9 am to 6:30 pm. One-hour lunch break starts at 1 pm each day except for Monday.

Compensation overview 

Explain the compensation and benefits four-day work week employees can expect. 

For example, if they’re working a full 40 hours each week, there may not be any changes to their salary. If they choose a 32-hour schedule each week, they may earn less — or, you might offer them one day of paid time off per week. 

Important Tip: Before finalizing your policy, have an attorney review it to make sure you include everything that’s necessary. They’ll advise you on any wording to change or sections to add or cut if needed.

Two 4-day work week policy templates to copy and paste 

Need help getting started on your policy? Feel free to copy and paste the following templates. 

Use the “Styles” option in Google Docs to write up your policy document and choose appropriate headings (from H1s to H3s). Google Docs will save your changes in real time. You can also add your doc to Google Drive for safekeeping, export it as a PDF, or collaborate with HR or another department that may be helping you.

Option 1 – Basic 4-Day work week Policy Template

H1: [Policy Name],  i.e. “4-Day work week Policy” 

H2: Purpose

[Company Name] would like to set forth the guidelines our employees will need to follow if they choose a four-day work week schedule. At [Company Name], we’re passionate about having autonomous team members who thrive at work and in their personal lives. We believe offering flexible schedules can help our employees feel empowered, achieve work-life balance, and become happier and more productive.

H2: Scope

Our 4-day work week schedule options are only available to salaried employees who are in good standing with [Company Name].

H2: Eligibility Requirements

Specific [Company Name] employees who are eligible for a four-day work week include: 

H3: Employee Type 1

[Eligible employee description] 

H3: Employee Type 2

[Eligible employee description] 

H3: Employee Type 3

[Eligible employee description] 

Important Note: Salaried employees who haven’t passed the probationary period, are currently in training, or aren’t in good standing with [Company Name] aren’t eligible to participate. 

H2: Hours and Schedule Options

[Company Name] salaried employees can choose from the following hours and schedule options:

H3: Option 1 – [Schedule type], [number of hours] hours, [number of days per week] days per week

Choose [number of days] days of the week (from [specific day] to [specific day]) to work [number of hours] hours per day. Choose from [specific hours] to take your one-hour lunch break.

H3: Option 2 – [Schedule type], [number of hours] hours, [number of days per week] days per week

Work [number of hours] hours per day [specific days] from [specific schedule] (with an hour break at [specific time]).

H3: Option 3 – [Schedule type], [number of hours] hours, [number of days per week] days per week 

Work [number of hours] on [specific day] without a lunch break (choose morning or afternoon). Work [number of hours] hours per day [specific schedule]. One-hour lunch break starts at [specific time] each day except for [specific day].


H2: Compensation Overview

The compensation and benefits for eligible four-day work week employees remain the same for team members working 40 hours per week. Employees who choose 32-hour weeks may be eligible for one day of paid time off per week. Meet with your HR counselor for specific information.

Option 2 – 4-Day work week Policy Template with Request, Modification, and Termination Clauses

H1: [Policy Name], i.e. “Flexible Schedule Policy, Requirements, and Termination” 

H2: Purpose

[Company Name] would like to set forth the guidelines our team members must follow if they get approved for a four-day work week schedule. Flexible schedules are only available to employees who meet the requirements and are subject to termination by [Company Name]. We will provide employees who no longer meet the requirements for a flexible work schedule with a two-week notice.

H2: Scope

Our 4-day work week Schedule options are only available to salaried or remote employees who are in good standing with [Company Name] and who have received approval from [Approval Department/Manager Name].

H2: Eligibility Requirements

Specific [Company Name] employees who are eligible for a four-day work week include: 

H3: Employee Type 1

[Eligible employee description] 

H3: Employee Type 2

[Eligible employee description] 

H3: Employee Type 3

[Eligible employee description] 

Important Note: Employees who haven’t received approval from [Approval Department/Manager Name] aren’t eligible to participate. 

H2: Hours and Schedule Options

[Company Name] approved employees can choose from the following hours and schedule options:

H3: Option 1 – [Schedule type], [number of hours] hours, [number of days per week] days per week

Choose [number of days] days of the week (from [specific day] to [specific day]) to work [number of hours] hours per day. Choose from [specific hours] to take your one-hour lunch break.

H3: Option 2 – [Schedule type], [number of hours] hours, [number of days per week] days per week

Work [number of hours] hours per day [specific days] from [specific schedule] (with an hour break at [specific time]).

H3: Option 3 – [Schedule type], [number of hours] hours, [number of days per week] days per week 

Work [number of hours] on [specific day] without a lunch break (choose morning or afternoon). Work [number of hours] hours per day [specific schedule]. One-hour lunch break starts at [specific time] each day except for [specific day].


H2: Compensation Overview

The compensation and benefits for approved four-day work week employees are as follows:

[Details Here.]

Meet with your HR counselor for specific information.

H2: How to request a compressed work schedule arrangement:

Please send a [Form Type] to [Approval Department/Manager Name] to request approval for a four-day work week. 

In your request, be sure to include: 

  • [Request requirement 1] i.e., “Why you’d like to adjust your schedule” 
  • [Request requirement 2]
  • [Request requirement 3]
  • [Request requirement 4]

H2: Modification and termination of a four-day work week schedule arrangement: 

To modify an approved compressed work schedule, you’ll need to: 

  • [Instruction 1] i.e., “Fill out a schedule modification form at [URL to form]”
  • [Instruction 2]
  • [Instruction 3]
  • [Instruction 4]

Four-day work weeks are a privilege and are subject to termination for the following reasons:

  • [Reason 1] i.e., “The employee’s productivity has decreased after implementing the new schedule”
  • [Reason 2]
  • [Reason 3]
  • [Reason 4]
  • [Reason 5]

Three 4-day work week policy template examples to inspire you

Curious to see what your policy might look like when it’s complete? 

Here are some hard visuals to reference for inspiration:

Business-in-a-Box Policy Template

A 4-day work week policy example.

(Image Source)

Trucking HR Canada Policy Template

A 4-day work week policy example.

(Image Source)

Charles County Public Schools Policy Template

A 4-day work week policy example.

(Image Source)

4-day Work week Policy Template Wrap up:

If productivity and work-life balance are high on your organization’s priority list, then offering flexible schedule arrangements may be the right move. 

Remember, nothing is set in stone. If you need to trial a compressed schedule before making it official, set a test period and document the results. If the results line up with your overarching organizational goals and provide value to your team members, consider offering it to eligible employees. 

You can always modify or terminate a four-day work week arrangement if it’s no longer serving your company or employees. 

We hope this guide has given you the insight you need to get started on your 4-day work week policy template!

Why I Wrote this:

If you’re looking for more support, discover Ongig’s features. We specialize in helping you remove bias and automate job descriptions during the hiring process. 

Book a demo now to learn more

Author Bio:

Jeremy is co-founder & CEO at uSERP, a digital PR and SEO agency working with brands like Monday, ActiveCampaign, Hotjar, and more. He also buys and builds SaaS companies like Wordable.io and writes for publications like Entrepreneur and Search Engine Journal.

by in HR Content