Embracing Change: The Rise of the Four-Day Work Week

GeneralMay 01, 2024 09:00

In a recent media feature by TODAY, one of Singapore's leading digital news providers, Reeracoen, and our Group CEO, Mr. Kenji Naito, were highlighted in a discussion about the evolving landscape of work arrangements. TODAY, under Mediacorp, Singapore's largest media broadcaster, reaches audiences through various platforms, including its website, news app, social media, and messaging platforms.

The Changing Work Dynamics

The article, published on April 5, 2024, shed light on a growing trend among Singaporean workers: the aspiration for a four-day work week. According to a survey by payroll and human resources solution provider ADP, nearly a third of Singapore workers anticipate the adoption of a four-day work week as the norm within the next five years.

Furthermore, the study revealed that approximately one in five workers in Singapore already have the option of a four-day work week, with employers offering this arrangement to promote positive mental health and work-life balance. This statistic places Singapore ahead of other Asia Pacific countries surveyed, including India, China, and Australia.

Benefits and Challenges

The shift towards a four-day work week is not merely a matter of convenience but carries significant implications for both employers and employees. Employees who have experienced this arrangement laud its benefits, emphasising improvements in work-life balance, productivity, and overall satisfaction.

For instance, Tiffany Koh, a mother of two, highlighted the importance of flexibility in balancing work and family responsibilities. Her decision to transition to a shorter work week was motivated by the need for respite and quality time with her children.

Similarly, Charles Ho, a project manager, emphasised the necessity of discipline and focus in maximising productivity within the condensed work period. He believes that shifting mindsets, especially among younger generations, and advancements in technology will pave the way for broader acceptance of the four-day work week.

However, despite the evident advantages, experts caution that widespread adoption may encounter obstacles. Richard Bradshaw, CEO of Ethos BeathChapman, suggests that while the pandemic has accelerated the uptake of flexible work arrangements, broader acceptance may require a cultural shift, particularly in growth-driven economies like Singapore.

Implementing Change: Success Stories

Several companies in Singapore have already embraced the four-day work week, citing positive outcomes such as improved employee morale, retention, and business performance. Joel Toh, GM of The Supreme HR Advisory, highlights their strategy of incentivizing productivity through shorter work weeks, resulting in a motivated and focused workforce.

Similarly, Anna Patterson, founder of Sight Agency, and Danny Tan, MD of Grayling Singapore, share their success stories of transitioning to shorter work weeks. Patterson emphasises the benefits of increased team focus and communication, while Tan attributes reduced absenteeism and staff churn to the initiative.


The conversation surrounding the four-day work week reflects a broader paradigm shift in work culture, prioritising employee well-being and productivity. While challenges remain, the experiences of pioneering companies and the growing aspirations of workers underscore the potential for transformative change in how we perceive and approach work.

As Mr. Kenji Naito aptly summarises, the journey towards a four-day work week as the norm in Singapore necessitates a delicate balance between business objectives and the evolving needs of the workforce. Ultimately, it's a journey worth embarking on—a journey towards a more sustainable and fulfilling future of work.


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