A four-day workweek pilot program and income tax credit bill has been proposed in Maryland. If the bill passes, companies would cut the employees’ hours from 40 to 32 hours per week without any salary reduction, and in return, the firms would gain an income tax credit.
“I mean a four-day workweek sounds great,” said Graham Evans, a secretary in Maryland. “I think it would affect my productivity because I tire myself out every day of the week and then come to Friday and think- oh I need a break. If I had an extra day I would be less tired.”
The bill would guarantee a trial period of five years in which public or private companies can be eligible to opt-in, but none are obligated to participate. The ultimate decision is left to the CEO and founders.
The idea of a four-day workweek has become popular over the years and has been done before, including in Florida. Brick Media, a social media management agency in Tampa, started a three-month trial period in January for a similar system of reduced work hours.
So far, according to the CEO Jake Kurtz, the trial has been a success and employees are happier. Because of the trial, his company even received more clients.
“Our clients think it’s a great thing that we are promotion work-life balance at Brick Media,” he said. “Because they know it’s gonna lead to better work for them.”
Kurtz explained some of his employees take the extra Friday to travel home and visit family and others just recharge but the break allows them to come back to the office on Monday with new creative ideas to work on.
Studies conducted in Iceland and in over 30 companies around the world by the non-profit 4 Day Week Global with researchers from Boston College, University College Dublin, and Cambridge University show an increase in the level of productivity.
The bill is expected to have its first hearing in Senate early this month.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated Jake Kurtz’s last name.