Half of employees would move jobs for four-day week

Half of employees would move jobs for four-day week

More than half of employees would be tempted to take a job at a different organisation if it offered a four-day working week, but employers are concerned about its impact on operations and productivity, a survey has revealed.

Fifty-one per cent of professionals polled by recruitment agency Hays said they would consider changing jobs for this type of working arrangement. Only 12% said they would not be tempted at all by a four-day week, albeit this figure was up from 6% last year.

However, the reality of a four-day week seems a distant concern for many organisations. Of those who could implement a shorter work week due to the type of organisation or sector they operate in, 74% said they would not consider it, up from 72% who responded to 2023’s poll.

Fewer employers are considering implementing a four-day week (15%, down from 21% in 2023). Only one in 10 (11%) have introduced or are trialling a four-day week, up from 7%.

Asked why they were unable to consider offering a four-day week, 57% cited operational concerns and 34% were worried about the impact on productivity.

Twenty per cent were unprepared from a financial perspective – employees usually expect to receive the same rate of pay as if they were working five days a week.

Some employers were prepared to offer a trade-off to make the four-day week a reality, with 28% stating they would be more likely to offer it if staff spent all four days in the workplace.

Of the organisations offering a four-day week, 78% believe it helps their candidate attraction strategy.

Chetan Patel, managing director of Hays London City, told City AM: “Although our research indicates a very slight increase in employers who have implemented a four-day working week, despite most employers now offering flexible and hybrid working, the transition to a four-day work week represents a more substantial cultural and operational change.

“At the moment this still feels out of reach for a lot of employers. Nearly three-quarters of employers aren’t considering the change at all – and although a four-day week might still stand out to potential jobseekers, there’s lots of other ways to offer flexibility.

“Hybrid working is still non-negotiable for most professionals. Without taking the leap to a four-day week, employers could consider offering flexible hours, adaptable start and finish times or even early finishes during summer to stand out from the crowd in a bid to attract talent.”

Hays’ survey received almost 11,900 responses from employers and employees across the UK.

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