Workers want four-day working week

Research highlights what workers want this National Work Life Week

A survey conducted by office furniture supplier, Viking, has highlighted that workers want to move to a four-day working week.

The research, which involved 1,677 UK employees, revealed important trends employers should consider during National Work Life Week. Over half of people said that they’d like to move to a four-day working week. Respondents to the survey were asked which days they would like to work, with the following results:

  • 72% want to work on Mondays
  • 93% want to work on Tuesdays
  • 93% want to work on Wednesdays
  • 91% want to work on Thursdays
  • 50% want to work on Fridays

Despite only working four days a week, most employees would like to keep working a full-time schedule of 38 hours a week. Instead of the current nine to five standard pattern, employees want to divide their time by working longer hours, four days a week. The average hours UK workers want to spend at the office each day are:

  • Nine hours on Monday
  • Ten hours on Tuesday
  • Ten hours on Wednesday
  • Nine hours on Thursday.

Survey respondents were also asked to state what their ideal start and finish times are under their new proposed working week. The most popular times were starting at eight o’clock and finishing at six o’clock.

Workers are also keen to get more flexibility and agility in their working hours. The survey found six in 10 employees (60%) said they wanted to work at least part of their working week from home. In terms of when people want to be working away from the office, one in five (19%) would like to work from home between 90% and 100% of the time. The mean average amount of time people wanted to work from home is just over one-third of their working week (31%).

The issue looks set to become more important as younger workers move up through the workplace. Over two-thirds (68%) of 16 to 25-year-old workers want the option to work from home, compared to just over one-half of over-55s.

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Workers are not the only ones who would stand to benefit from the new working pattern. Those surveyed said that working a four-day pattern would have a number of benefits for their workplace. The survey found 61% of people say that changing their working hours would make them more productive at work. Other benefits employees cited are:

  • 70% think it would make them happier
  • 65% say it would reduce stress
  • 62% think it would boost relationships
  • 51% think it would increase motivation
  • 54% would be more creative
  • 68% would be better rested

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