Four-Day Workweeks and Sites of Conscience

PRESS RELEASE
NEW YORK, NY

DECEMBER 1, 2021

The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience is pleased to announce that it will be piloting a four-day workweek from December 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022.

“We want our team to feel energized by and supported through the meaningful work that we do here at Sites of Conscience,” explains Executive Director Elizabeth Silkes. “Burnout is real and we want to do all we can to avoid it. By making 3-day weekends the norm, we will have more time to take care of personal matters, including self-care, outside of work hours.”

Extensive research has shown that a shorter workweek increases employees’ well-being while maintaining or even improving productivity. In addition, shorter workweeks promote a cleaner environment and directly correlate to a more equitable workforce, helping to reduce class inequality and support women in the workplace. 

“Whether it’s securing workday childcare, providing for a family member in need, or another personal reason, needing to do so one less day a week allows more people the opportunity to participate and stay in the workforce. These are values to which the Coalition is committed, and this policy aligns with that vision,” adds Silkes, who said she anticipates continuing the program long-term if the trial period goes as expected. 

Historically, politicians in America, where the Coalition is headquartered, have toyed multiple times with a four-day work week to no avail. Today, people in America work far more hours than their European counterparts. Further, according to a report by the People’s Policy Project, “as most nations have gotten richer, their average worker has worked fewer hours. But this is not true of the United States.” Four-day workweek programs have been piloted in numerous countries, including Iceland, Japan, New Zealand and Spain, where they have been well-received.

Founded in 1999, the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience is a global network of over 300 historic sites, museums and memory initiatives in more than 65 countries dedicated to connecting past struggles for social justice with their contemporary legacies. For more information, or to arrange an interview with Elizabeth Silkes, please contact Ashley Nelson, Director of Communications, at anelson@sitesofconscience.org.