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Employers’ expectations for a four-day week

A recent report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) sets out that within the next 10 years, a third of employers expect a movement towards a four-day working week.

Of the 2,000 employers surveyed, 16% reported already having reduced working hours over the past 5 years, with 10% reporting reducing hours while also keeping pay the same. Among those who had reduced their hours, the most common explanations were to increase wellbeing among employees (36%), followed by a reduction in demand for services and products (32%), and an attempt to boost retention and recruitment (20%).

Three in four of those employers who had not reduced hours had however considered it. The main challenges for reducing hours were that;

•           it’s not suitable for everyone;

•           it may be difficult to achieve the same level of work during a 4-day working week; and

•           certain tasks require someone to be present, for example in retail or security

Despite the growing interest in the perceived benefits of staff retention and greater flexibility associated with an additional day-off for employees, the CIPD reported that over the next 3 years, only 1% of employers plan to reduce employees working hours without loss of pay. Most employers agreed that they first needed to improve efficiency in the workplace, focusing on investing in the adoption of technology and/or working smarter to achieve this.