Reed.co.uk research finds that jobseekers are more likely to apply for a job offering “flexible working” opportunities (45%) than a “four-day working week” (40%).
Despite this, over a third (37%) of employers are implementing a four-day working week.
Flexible working is a way of working that suits an individual’s needs, such as flexible start and finish times and/or working from home.
Flexible working is more popular
The findings show that, despite most workers (89%) being in favour of a four-day working week, flexible working remains a more popular alternative for employers looking to generate job applications.
Only 16 percent of workers would be willing to accept a pay reduction in exchange for a shorter week, however, almost three-quarters (73%) of respondents would be open to it if there is no pay decrease.
The research also reveals that over a third (37%) of employers are implementing a four-day working week, and a further quarter of employers (27%) are considering it.
Why do jobseekers support the four-day working week?
The most common reasons for employers’ support of the four-day working week are focused on employee wellbeing.
Among the benefits cited, a “better work-life balance” (51%) is the most common, followed by “increased employee happiness” (43%), “higher employee engagement” (41%), “increased productivity” (36%) and a “reduction of burnout” (36%).
Why is flexible working more desired?
James Reed, Chairman of Reed.co.uk, comments: “Despite strong arguments in favour of a four-day working week, evidenced also by recent UK trials, our research suggests that it may not be the best or most popular way for businesses to attract and retain top talent.
“The National Forum for Health and Wellbeing at Work has suggested that cramming five days’ work into four might contribute to stress. Instead, offering greater flexibility could be more impactful and more popular.
“Amid a highly competitive labour market, it’s encouraging to see so many employers open to exploring new and creative methods to attract candidates. The era of the traditional 9-to-5, five day working week is over and it’s now more important than ever for employers and employees alike to embrace flexible and inclusive working patterns that will allow everyone to contribute to the workforce.”
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview. With a master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.