What are the most popular ways to structure 4-day workweeks?

Survey finds shortened weeks are popular with employers – but may not be available to all staff

What are the most popular ways to structure 4-day workweeks?

As demand for a four-day work week intensifies, a new report has found that four in 10 companies plan to implement the scheme in the future.

A survey by Resume Builder among 600 participants in the US revealed that 50% of those planning to implement the work arrangement will do it this year.

Another 42% said the policy will be effective in 2024, while eight per cent said it won't be available until 2025 or later.

According to 98% of the respondents, their organisations will run a trial period before implementing the policy, which will likely last between one and three months (50%). Another 11% said the trial will only be less than a month, while 39% said it will be longer than three months.

"The trial will include all eligible employees according to two-thirds of business leaders, whereas a third say only a smaller group will participate," Resume Builder said.

The employers surveyed believe that implementing a four-day work week will give them the following benefits:

  • Competing for top talent (92%)
  • Positively affect company profitability (85%)
  • Reducing employee turnover (76%)

"Four-day work weeks are becoming increasingly common, as companies begin to recognise its potential to simultaneously boost productivity, profitability, and employee satisfaction," a spokesperson from Resume Builder said in a media release.

"Business leaders who decide to hop on this bandwagon may see significant improvements to their company as a whole."

Across the world, many organisations are starting to trial a four-day work week in their workplace, including those in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.

Drawbacks for staff

The report comes amid strong demand from employees for a four-day work week. A survey from Robert Walters on 2,000 respondents across the world year revealed that 98% want their employer to implement the shorter work week.

However, according to Resume Builder's report, 81% of employers said not all employees will be eligible for a four-day work week.

For 41%, they said only about three-quarters of staff will be included in the policy once it rolls out. Another 21% said only half of their workforce will be covered, while 19% said only 25% or less will be included.

The number of work hours a week will also remain the same, according to 37% of business leaders, which means they'll be implementing a compressed version of the four-day work week.

For 38%, they said total weekly working hours will go down, but 30% of them said salaries will be reduced, and 73% said paid time off will go down.

In Australia, employers who reduced work hours to 80% while retaining salaries by 100% said the scheme made them more appealing to jobseekers, hiked productivity, and reduced absenteeism.