The case for a four-day workweek?

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four day week

Three-quarters of workers crave a longer weekend.

New global research has discovered that nearly half (45 per cent) of full-time employees say it should take less than five hours each day to do their job if they worked uninterrupted and 72 per cent would work four days or less per week if their pay remained consistent.

The research from The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated assessed the attitudes of employees towards work across the world and compares the results from various countries as well as differing age groups. It found that UK employees desire a three-day workweek the most and the UK is also one of the least content with the standard five-day workweek. These findings follow an announcement made earlier this week by the TUC which suggested that a four-day working week is achievable with advancements in technology such as AI. 

If pay remained constant, one-third of global workers say their ideal workweek would last four days (34 per cent), while 20 per cent said they would work three days a week. One in four global employees (28 per cent) are content with the standard five-day workweek.

However, full-time workers in the UK desire a three-day workweek the most (26 per cent) and the UK is one of the least content (16 per cent) with the standard five-day workweek.

Joyce Maroney, executive director, The Workforce Institute at Kronos said

“The biggest takeaway of this research isn’t that we should move to a shorter workweek or that we need a time machine to get all our work done. It’s clear that employees want to work and do well by their employers, and many roles require people to be present or on call during specific hours to get the job done – such as teachers, nurses, retail associates, plant workers, delivery drivers, and nearly all customer-facing roles. Organisations must help their people eliminate distractions, inefficiencies, and administrative work to enable them to work at full capacity. This will create more time to innovate, collaborate, develop skills and relationships, and serve customers while opening the door to creative scheduling options, including the coveted four-day workweek.”  

Dan Schawbel, best-selling author and research director, Future Workplace said

“Employees are working harder than ever and at the cost of their personal lives. This study confirms that we can all be more efficient with our workday, that there’s an opportunity to remove administrative tasks in exchange for more impactful ones, and that the traditional workweek isn’t as relevant in today’s business world. Employees need more flexibility with how, when, and where they work, and leaders should be supportive of an employee’s professional and personal life. When employees get time to rest, they become more productive, creative, and are healthier, meaning they take fewer sick days.”