As we collectively mourn the loss of over 6,000 Coloradans – nearly 540,000 nationwide – who have died due to COVID-19, deliberations regarding a return to the office are beginning in earnest.

With over 1.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine now administered in Colorado (and around 80 million in nationally) many of us are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel. As more vaccines are distributed and administered, the likelihood of offices returning to some sense of normalcy is relatively high; but what will the new normal look like? According to the Denver South 2020 Commuter Survey, only about 13% of employers were at normal in-person (in-office) operations at the time, while the greatest percentage of employers were either fully remote or on a split schedule. In our previous blog, we indicated that telework/flex work, to varying degrees for varying companies, are here to stay. However, while organizations are looking at flexibility in the workplace, the desire to return to the office by employers and employees alike is a reality.

Denver South has created a resource page for best practices, safety messaging, protocols, and more as organizations across the country are pondering how to write their return-to-work playbooks. On the resource page you will find best practices specific to:

  • Phased re-entry language
  • Safety messaging & protocols
  • CDPHE guidelines
  • Soft re-openings
  • Flextime expansion
  • The honor system of self-reporting

While these resources on should assist your organization in shaping its unique approach to the transition, it also makes sense to consider the impacts, both positive and negative, of going from 100% remote back to commuting five days per week. Employers around the world have wondered the same thing and have pondered a wide spectrum of solutions. In this blog, let’s take a deeper dive into the reality and benefits of one of the more progress ideas along the spectrum: a four-day work week.

Four-Day Work Week:

Really? Yes, really.

According to NPR, “Companies around the world are embracing what might seem like a radical idea: a four-day workweek.” A recent Bloomberg Businessweek article highlighted Awin, a Berlin-based tech company, which has recently switched to a four-day work week. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Awin, like many other business sectors started running full speed to adapt to the rapidly changing environment, which placed additional strain on their workforce. To help combat staff stress, they suggested employees complete their current tasks and log off around lunchtime every Friday to “ease into the weekend … the experiment was so successful – sales, employee engagement and client satisfaction all rose,” according to Awin CEO Adam Ross. “Happy, engaged, and well-balanced employees produce much better work. [They] find ways to work smarter and they’re just as productive.”

Awin is not alone. According to data from ZipRecuiter, the share of job postings which mention a four-day workweek have tripled in the last three years. Will Strange, Director of Research at Autonomy, a U.K.-based think tank agrees: “The four-day workweek is picking up momentum. For the large majority of firms, reducing working hours is an entirely realistic goal.”

Of course, the four-day work week can’t work for all employers. Retail, healthcare, and manufacturing will need people on-site to complete tasks. However, for employers who feel it’s feasible, the four-day work week could be a great employee benefit and even a competitive advantage in competing for talented employees.

Giving employees Fridays for life’s “delightful little chores,” like visiting the DMV, going to the bank or a deep house cleaning–or (more realistically) getting up to the mountain resorts for more skiing/snowboarding—could become a valuable and attractive benefit.

As you navigate your company’s return to the office, and determine your organization’s place along the spectrum of return-to-office solutions, please consider Denver South as a resource that can guide the decision-making process. And be sure to visit our resource page at