- The four-day workweek remains a popular option among workers for reducing stress, a Qualtrics survey of 1,021 workers found. Ninety-two percent of respondents said they wanted their employers to shift to a four-day workweek, with 88% saying it would improve their work-life balance, 82% saying it would make them more productive and 79% saying it would improve their mental health. Employees said a four-day workweek is the No. 1 thing that would cause them to stay at a company longer.
- While three-quarters (74%) of workers said they could complete all their work in four days, nearly the same amount said they'd need to work longer hours to do so. And when given the choice between flexibility to work when they want or a four-day workweek, slightly more (50% vs. 47%) chose flexibility.
- Workers did register some concerns about a four-day workweek. Close to half of respondents said the schedule would have a negative impact on sales and revenue, and 55% said it would frustrate customers.
Employee enthusiasm for the four-day workweek is part of a broader interest from workers in workplace flexibility, Benjamin Granger, head of EX advisory services at Qualtrics, told HR Dive.
"[Workers have] seen the pivots that organizations were able to make overnight during COVID to go remote," Granger said. "And I think that set a new set of expectations among a lot of people, like, 'Hey, why not this?' 'Why not that?' 'Why do I have to be in the office to do my job when I just did it successfully from home?' 'Why are we assuming there needs to be a five-day workweek and should we consider something else?' So it's those types of thoughts and expectations that the employees are starting to form."
While a small number of companies experimented with or introduced the four-day workweek before the pandemic, public interest in the topic has exploded over the past couple years. In addition to increased awareness of work's adaptability, as Granger noted, employer interest in making the workplace more appealing and less stressful has also increased in light of talent retention difficulties.
Among respondents, Qualtrics found that tech employees were more supportive of a four-day workweek than other workers, with 89% saying it would make them more loyal to their employer and 88% saying it would make them more productive. Granger conjectured that tech workers' "expectations of companies when it comes to flexible work arrangements tend to be higher than in other industries," noting the extreme competition among employers for tech workers.
For businesses considering the four-day workweek, "the iron is hot," Granger said. "If there was ever a time to explore this further, to do more research, to pilot it, to … really dig in with employees to explore what the trade-offs would be — this is the time to do it. We've seen so many things pivot overnight. Employees have higher expectations of their employers. Employers are throwing out the old playbook. If you're thinking about it, now's the time to double down and really explore it more."
Clarification: This headline was updated to reflect Benjamin Granger's focus on exploring the four-day workweek.