The Merits of a 4-Day Workweek in Developing Economies

In the pursuit of economic growth and societal advancement, developing countries often grapple with various challenges, including unemployment, underemployment, and balancing productivity with employee well-being. As the global workforce evolves and businesses adapt to changing dynamics, the concept of a 4-day workweek emerges as a potential solution worth exploring in the context of developing nations.

Pali Tripathi, CEO of Taabi Mobility Limited (RPG Group Company), underscores the importance of context in determining the viability of a 4-day workweek. She states, “4-day or 5-day workweek is very contextual and depends on the business model, industry, and life stage of a company. The best thing to do is to try it in a small way and see the impact on productivity before taking a call at scale.”

Pali’s insight highlights the nuanced approach necessary when considering such a significant shift in the traditional work schedule. However, the potential benefits are substantial, particularly in a developing country setting.

One of the primary advantages of a 4-day workweek lies in its potential to create more job opportunities, especially for those seeking part-time employment. By redistributing work hours across fewer days, businesses can open up positions for individuals who may not be able to commit to a traditional five-day schedule due to various reasons such as education, caregiving responsibilities, or pursuing other ventures.

Moreover, the flexibility inherent in a condensed work week can foster a more inclusive workforce, accommodating diverse needs and preferences. Students, for instance, could capitalise on the additional day off to focus on their studies or gain practical experience through internships without compromising their financial stability.

Additionally, a shorter work week has been linked to improved employee morale, engagement, and overall well-being. With an extra day for rest and personal pursuits, workers are likely to return to work rejuvenated and motivated, leading to increased productivity during the four working days.

From a macroeconomic perspective, the adoption of a 4-day workweek could stimulate local economies by encouraging spending on leisure activities, tourism, and retail during the extended weekends. This boost in consumer activity can generate ripple effects, supporting small businesses and contributing to overall economic growth.

However, the transition to a 4-day workweek requires careful planning and consideration of various factors, including operational feasibility, industry requirements, and employee preferences. It necessitates robust communication, clear performance metrics, and potential adjustments to workflows to maintain productivity levels.

Furthermore, the success of such an initiative hinges on fostering a culture of trust, accountability, and efficient time management within organisations. Employers must empower employees to prioritise tasks effectively and embrace flexible work arrangements without compromising on deliverables or customer satisfaction.

In conclusion, while the merits of a 4-day workweek in the context of a developing country are evident, its implementation requires a tailored approach that considers the unique needs and dynamics of each organisation and industry. As Pali Tripathi suggests, starting with small-scale trials can provide valuable insights into its feasibility and impact on productivity before considering broader adoption. By embracing innovative work models that prioritise both employee well-being and economic growth, developing nations can unlock new opportunities for prosperity and advancement in the global marketplace.


  • How to Actually Execute a 4-Day Workweek | Harvard Business Review | Dec 2023
  • Four-day workweek trial in Spain leads to healthier workers, less pollution | World Economic Forum | Oct 2023
  • The Four-Day Workweek: How Does It Really Work? | Forbes | Jun 2023

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