There has been much talk over recent years of becoming more flexible in our working practices and one topic which has been frequently discussed is the transition to a 4 day working week. But although this would prove a very attractive proposition for most workers it appears that bosses may be not so keen to make this change.
Interesting Pilot Scheme
There is an interesting pilot scheme taking place next month where 60 companies will be taking part. In the pilot scheme workers at these companies will work a 4 day working week, with no drop in pay, and after 6 months they will check whether this has in fact led to higher productivity than before and a better sense of well-being.
Recruitment company Hays have recently ran a survey on the prospect of changing to a 4 day working week and here are the results of the survey as copied from an article by Gary McDonald in the Irish News.
The survey – `which gauged the opinions of 430 firms in the north, went as far as suggesting that more than half (53 per cent) of workers would be tempted to move to an organisation that offers a condensed four-day working week.
`Of the 9,000 UK-wide respondents surveyed, those living in Northern Ireland (62 per cent) would be most tempted to switch employers for a four-day working week.
A Minority Of Employees Believe A 4-Day Week Will Become A Reality
`Of the employees surveyed in Northern Ireland, 30 per cent said they don’t believe a four-day week will ever become a reality, but 25 per cent said it might be introduced within five to 10 years, 29 per cent thought it could come in within two to five years and just 16 per cent expected a move within the next one or two years.
`And among employer respondents in the north, 27 per cent felt a four-day week would never happen, though 14 per cent anticipated some sort of move towards it within the next two years.
`When we asked what a four-day week would have the most beneficial impact on, employees in Northern Ireland overwhelmingly identified improved mental health and wellbeing (75 per cent), followed by organisational productivity (7 per cent), talent attraction (7 per cent) and talent retention (4 per cent).
`Some 59 per cent of employers also pointed to the mental health benefits but 13 per cent hoped it would increase productivity, 12 per cent thought it would help them retain talent and 11 per cent believed it would attract talent.
`But only three per cent of employers in Northern Ireland have so far introduced a four-day working week and two per cent are trialling it.
In the survey, 16 per cent of employers said they are considering implementing it but 53 per cent were clear they aren’t considering any such move.`
Companies certainly need to provide an attractive proposition to employees if they wish to attract the best staff to their business, whether this is a 4-day working week or other benefits which make employees valued and happy in their work.