CEOs looking to counter burnout with shorter workweeks A significant number of CEOs at major US companies are considering cutting down the workweek to 4 or 4.5 days


As the U.S. continues to grapple with an ongoing labor shortage, the workers still on the job are left picking up the slack — and it is stressing them out.

Employers say they are making efforts to ease the burden, and new data shows a significant chunk of leaders at big companies are now considering a shorter workweek as a solution.

Stressed man pinches nose

The latest KPMG survey of U.S. CEOs found 30% of business leaders are mulling the idea of a shorter workweek to combat worker burnout. (iStock / iStock)

KPMG's annual U.S. CEO Outlook report shows 30% of CEOs at major firms are considering getting creative with the workers' shifts in an aim to combat employee burnout, including cutting the workweek down to four or four-and-a-half days, indicating the concept is gaining steam.

There has been a growing push for a four-day workweek among lawmakers, business leaders and academics in the U.S., though critics have questioned the costs and benefits that face employers.

business meeting

The concept of a four-day workweek is gaining steam as employers consider ways to fight worker burnout amid a tight labor market. (iStock / iStock)

The idea was popular enough to make it on the list of the top ways business leaders at large companies are looking to address potential burnout, but it was not the most popular in the KPMG survey.

The most common effort CEOs said they use to combat burnout is through initiatives aimed at improving employees' mental well-being, with 74% offering workers initiatives like mindfulness seminars or resilience workshops.


The most popular way companies try to fight worker burnout is by offering seminars or coaching for mental well-being. (iStock / iStock)

Sixty-one percent of company leaders said they are encouraging employees to use generative artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT to lighten their workloads, and 60% said they were implementing ways for workers to strengthen their personal relationships with their colleagues as a way to improve workplace culture.

More than half (56%) of the CEOs surveyed said they have launched training for managers to more effectively address employee burnout.

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