Essence Muhammad, the customer-support agent at Buffer, said that having an extra day off each week allowed her to increase her course load in a bachelor’s-to-master’s program. She’s now on a “fast-track path” that will have her finishing the program possibly a year earlier than if she still worked five days a week.
Since Monique Caraballo, a 37-year-old who works at a nonprofit in Ithaca, New York, started a four-day week last year, she has been able to pour herself into volunteering with another nonprofit and moderating online communities, such as a local mutual-aid effort and a networking group for women in marketing. She also picked up hula-hooping this past year, and she told me that none of these things would have been compatible with the unpredictable and inflexible hours at her previous job, at a hotel. “I used to try to do 10 minutes of yoga and couldn’t figure out how to fit that into my full and immovable schedule,” she said.
Several people I spoke with said that transitioning to a four-day week cured them of the “Sunday scaries,” a somewhat silly term for the very real dread that many workers feel as the weekend comes to a close.