Shorter work weeks become more common as employees seek better work-life balance

Longtime beekeeper, Chick-fil-A in Kendall have benefitted from move to 3-day work week
Posted at 2:19 PM, Dec 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-01 21:07:39-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Consumer experts predict more companies could start moving to shorter work weeks as American workers believe it provides them a better work-life balance.

"I used to be the honeybee inspector and I transitioned because of the work schedule," Christopher Alonso, a longtime beekeeper, said.

Previously, Alonso worked for the state of Florida. He went from working five days a week to three days a week, full-time, when he joined Sierra's Bees in Palm Beach Gardens.

"This is one of our country clubs that we manage," Alonso said. "We go through the hives and we do all the maintenance for the hives, including treatments and pulling honey."

Christopher Alonso says he's benefitted from 3-day work week since joining Sierra's Bees
Longtime beekeeper Christopher Alonso says he's benefitted from a shorter, three-day work week since leaving his state job and joining Sierra's Bees in Palm Beach Gardens.

He sometimes works longer days, but he said the new schedule has transformed his life.

"I'm making the same pay, yeah, almost, a little more, actually, than I was with the state, and I'm working less days," Alonso said.

Shorter work weeks are becoming more and more common. A Chick-fil-A restaurant in Kendall recently made national headlines for making the move.

RELATED: Mental health experts weigh pros, cons of shorter work weeks

"The conversations now are, 'Hey, so where am I going after my three days is up? What am I doing?'" general manager Justin Lindsey said. "I have one that's on a cruise right now. I have one that just came back from a road trip to New York City."

He told WPTV it's great for morale and has made scheduling easier.

"Part of the schedule is they do block scheduling," Lindsey said. "So, if you work Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday this week, you do that the following week as well. And if you work Thursday-Saturday, you do that the following week. And on the third week, they rotate. So, they only work two weekends out of the month, which was a major win for the team."

Justin Barney, Chick-fil-A general manager in Kendall, talks about benefits of 3-day work week
Justin Barney, general manager of the Chick-fil-A in Kendall, says his employees seem to enjoy the three-day work week and block scheduling.

According to a study released by Qualtrics in February, 92% of American workers prefer a shorter work week and 74% said they would be able to complete the same amount of work in just four days.

However, 38% of employees said they feel shorter work weeks would encourage their peers to slack off.

While consumer experts said it wouldn't work for all industries, they think this could become more normalized for many companies.

"It gives the employee a lot of flexibility and a lot of ability to kind of engineer their work-life balance even more. It actually puts it more into balance," Carl Gould, owner of financial firm 7 Stage Advisors, said. "There are some professions that have done this and done this really well."

That balance has created a whole new world for people like Alonso.

"I've got three kids. I'm off now on Mondays and Fridays, so I work Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays," Alonso said. "I get to be there more with the doctor's appointments, helping out with homework on those days and still get time for myself, so it's been great."