The Rise of the Four-Day Working Week?

The pandemic has led to many changes in the way we live and work.

Recent research shows that business activity and productivity levels on a Friday have dropped by 15 per cent in the last 12 months. Could this be signalling the rise of the four-day working week? 

As recruiters, we’re seeing more and more candidates citing greater flexibility in working patterns as a key driver for moving roles. So, it’s no wonder the four-day working week is starting to gather momentum in the UK.

A six-month trial period of a four-day working week is currently underway in the UK, with employees at 30 businesses being asked to maintain 100% productivity for 80% of their time. All with no reduction in their salary.

The benefits of the four-day working week

In a recent poll conducted by Vantage, 85% of respondents believed a four day working week SHOULD become the new normal across the board. The Four Day Week campaign claims switching to a four-day week can lead to several benefits for the environment, businesses and workers alike. These benefits include:

  • Better work-life balance
  • Higher performance workplaces
  • Attracting the best talent
  • Lower unemployment
  • Increased productivity
  • Better mental and physical health
  • A reduced carbon footprint

The disadvantages of a four-day working week

On the flip side, many people who argue against the four-day working week explain the following potential pitfalls:

  • It’s not feasible for all types of businesses / industries
  • Increased stress on staff to fulfil duties in less time
  • Possible delays in projects
  • Impact on customer satisfaction
  • Balancing shift patterns

Can you request a shorter working week?

Post pandemic, most companies we work with are becoming more open to providing flexible working patterns, including a four-day week, condensed working hours or working from home. We advise candidates to have open and honest discussions about this from the outset, ensuring consideration has been made as to how the arrangement can benefit both the employee and business.

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31st March

Career Advice Blog