Employers would be more likely to consider a four-day week – if staff committed to spending the four days in an office according to new research.
Research conducted by Hays which received over 11,800 respondents found that over a third (34%) of employers would be more likely to consider offering a four-day working week if all days were spent in the workplace by staff. Similarly, if given the choice, close to two-thirds (62%) of workers would rather work a four-day week, spending all four days in the office, compared to just 38% who would prefer to work five days a week working some days from home and some in an office setting.
The research comes after the official four-day week trial in the UK concluded with 56 out of the 61 companies who entered the trial planning to extend it. 18 of the 56 companies have already made the four-day week a permanent fixture within their organisation.
Optimism grows for a wider roll out of the four-day week
In research carried out by Hays last February, which received over 9,600 respondents, 5% of organisations said they had adopted a four-day week or were trialling it. Whilst this number has remained at 5%, 17% of organisations surveyed are now considering implementing a four day working week – increasing from 9% in 2022.
Similarly, the number of professionals who would be tempted to move jobs if an organisation was offering a four-day week has increased. 64% of professionals say they would be tempted to move to an organisation if they were offering a four-day week – jumping from 53% in 2022.
Overall, only 65% of respondents in 2022 believed the four-day week would ever happen, a figure which has now risen to 74%. Nearly all respondents to the survey (93%) believe the four-day week is a good idea.
Gaelle Blake, Head of Permanent Appointments at Hays UK and Ireland, comments: “It’s clear from our research that the appetite for a four-day working week has increased from both professionals and employers, however in reality only 5% of respondents to our survey are working for an organisation where this is actually happening.
Organisations were quick to adopt hybrid working as a result of the pandemic, however the four-day week is a much bigger cultural and operational shift for many organisations.
What our research does point to is the importance of flexibility as professionals would be willing to travel into an office more often if there was better flexibility from employers on their working days. Whilst the four-day working week is an attractive offering for workers, there’s lots of ways for employers to stand out from the crowd by allowing staff flexibility in the form of hybrid working, flexible hours and more.
There’s still over 1.1million unfilled job vacancies across the UK so employers need to be aware of the differing ways to attract professionals to their organisation.”