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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

One of the pandemic's longer-term impacts on how we work could be the end of the five-day, 9-to-5 workweek.

What's happening: For many companies, these past few months have been a period of rapid experimentation — and some are finding that shorter workdays and four-day weeks can work quite well.

1. Shorter days: The gap between when the school day typically ends — 3pm — and when the workday ends — 5 pm — "is grossly unfair to working parents," Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist at UPenn's Wharton School, writes in the Economist.

  • "If more of us end up working remotely after the pandemic, there is one change that could make work better: ending the misalignment between the school day and the work day," he writes.
  • Parents juggling work and child care while telecommuting are already bearing burdens their colleagues are not, and shortening the workday to 3pm would take away a great deal of stress.
  • Grant notes: "Take it from someone who studies work for a living: we can be every bit as creative and productive in six focused hours a day as in twice as many distracted hours."

2. Shorter weeks: Firms have been experimenting with four-day workweeks during the coronavirus crisis.

  • Some are doing it so they can reduce pay and cut costs. And others are doing it to ensure their employees don't get too stressed or burned out during these times.
  • But the four-day workweek could outlast the pandemic. About one-third of U.S. employers already offer shorter weeks, NBC reports, and more could follow suit.

Go deeper

Coronavirus cases increase in 17 states

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

Coronavirus infections ticked up slightly over the past week, thanks to scattered outbreaks in every region of the country.

Where it stands: The U.S. has been making halting, uneven progress against the virus since August. Overall, we're moving in the right direction, but we're often taking two steps forward and one step back.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
4 mins ago - Economy & Business

IPOs keep rolling despite stock market volatility

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Stock market volatility is supposed to be kryptonite for IPOs, causing issuers to hide out in their private market caves.

Yes, but: This is 2020, when nothing matters.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
43 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Higher education expands its climate push

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New or expanded climate initiatives are popping up at several universities, a sign of the topic's rising prominence and recognition of the threats and opportunities it creates.

Why it matters: Climate and clean energy initiatives at colleges and universities are nothing new, but it shows expanded an campus focus as the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, and the world is nowhere near the steep emissions cuts that scientists say are needed to hold future warming in check.