89% of employees want a shorter work week
Nearly half of workers surveyed by global recruitment firm Robert Walters expressed a willingness to sacrifice work socials and relationships with colleagues in exchange for a four-day workweek. Among the respondents, a significant 89% expressed a desire for their employers to implement a shorter workweek, making it the most coveted perk when seeking employment, according to 44% of those surveyed. The ability to work remotely from any location followed closely behind, with 38% of respondents indicating its appeal.
Conversely, only 16% of participants would choose a pay raise ranging from 10% to 15% over the option of a four-day workweek.
John Mullally, the managing director of Robert Walters Hong Kong, highlighted that some companies had experimented with a 4.5-day workweek or alternative arrangements such as “summer Fridays off” to address the growing emphasis on well-being and work-life balance. However, Mullally emphasised the need to assess the long-term effects of these measures, cautioning that companies should be mindful of the price of a poor company culture, as 46% of professionals were willing to sacrifice socials and business relationships.
Mullally cited the success of an experimental four-day workweek trial conducted earlier in the year in the UK, Europe, and North America. Nevertheless, the survey revealed that 49% of UK employees experienced no change in their typical overtime hours, while 17% reported an increase. Additionally, 22% reported a rise in burnout symptoms, while only 2% claimed a decrease in workload.
Although a four-day workweek may have its place in the business landscape, Robert Walters cautioned that it might not be the ultimate solution to enhancing productivity and well-being, as initially believed.
The poll conducted by Robert Walters encompassed the opinions of 2,000 professionals worldwide.