News | Published June 03 2019

74% of UK workers support four-day working week

According to a report published by Indeed today, 74 per cent of Britons believe they could do their job to the same standard if a four day working week was imposed. 

The report, The Meaning of Work, analysed jobseeker trends from the last five years alongside new insights from a YouGov survey of over 2,000 full-time employees.

The report identified two key insights: workers are ready for a four-day working week and 56 per cent support full pay transparency.

As automation increases, debates around a four-day working week have intensified. According to the study, 74 per cent of British workers believe their productivity would be unchanged if they worked one fewer day a week, a proportion that rises to 79 per cent among millennials.

The study also examined what workers perceived to be the most important elements of their employment. 57 per cent said salary was the most important element, while 55 per cent said a work-life balance was equally significant. Those who identified this balance as the key element were happy to earn £6,000 less annually than those who were not concerned by the work-life balance.

These trends were supported by Indeed’s own data. Searches for “working from home,” “flexible work” and “remote work” have risen by 116 per cent since 2015. This desire is being met by employers: between 2014 and 2019, there was a 136 per cent increase in the frequency of the phrase “flexible working hours” appearing in job postings.

The other key area the study looked into was pay transparency. 56 per cent of UK workers now support full pay transparency with only 33 per cent opposing it. 

This would involve personal information, such as monthly income and tax returns, being made publicly available. While appetite for this may be growing among employees, only 42 per cent of Indeed job postings including any salary information.

Pawel Adrjan, a UK economist at Indeed, responded: “Time will tell if workers’ enthusiasm for the four-day week ever makes it the norm in the UK, but the idea has shot up the agenda of politicians, academics and even some employers over the last twelve months.

“Demands for flexibility and work/life balance are also increasing, so employers who want to attract and retain the best staff will need to take an imaginative and flexible approach to how they organise their people.”

“In the UK, there has been a deep-seated reticence to discuss financial matters with even close friends, colleagues or family. This attitude is clearly being challenged, perhaps in part due to the huge interest that gender pay gap reporting has gathered but perhaps more so thanks to the new generation of younger workers with different views on money and the workplace.”

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Authored by

George Salmon
Political Editor
June 03 2019

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