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Can AI both increase profits and reduce the traditional 40-hour work week?

Many times, I’ve pondered why the full-time work-week is defined as five days on, two days off. Why not four days on, three days off, or some other ratio that gives us more time to enjoy our lives?

In the businesses I’ve run, I have always focused on output rather than the number of hours someone works. If two people have a job to finish in a day—say, write a report—and it takes one person four hours and the other eight hours, shouldn’t the person who completed the task in four hours be able to lay low the rest of the day? Work hours vs. productivity is always an interesting debate.

Let’s take it to a contact center. If an outbound sales rep can close 30% over a five-day quota in three days, should that person get the rest of the week off? In our workaholic world, the answer is typically “No! Keep going and get to 50% above quota!” When employees are super-productive, we just keep raising the bar. And at what expense? Employees are stressed, tired, and anxiety-ridden because they spend too much time working and not enough time enjoying life.

Can we start hiring and managing based on productivity vs. hours?

Yes, and generative AI may be able to help us do just that.

Because of its speed and massive scale, generative AI has the potential to reduce the number of hours required for a full-time workweek for many types of jobs. Generative and all types of AI improve business metrics—specifically productivity, but also revenue and customer satisfaction. The most successful companies using any type of AI in CX initiatives reported revenue increase by 38%, customer ratings improve by 45.8%, operational costs drop by 5.6% and agent efficiency rise by 36%, according to the same study.

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Robin Gareiss

Robin Gareiss is CEO and Principal Analyst at Metrigy, where she oversees research product development, conducts primary research, and advises leading enterprises, vendors, and carriers focusing on customer experience and engagement, digital transformation, and contact center.