Most Brits want to move to a four-day working week

four-day working week

More than 50% of British workers believe now is the time to move towards a four-day working week.

That’s according to new survey from adtech LoopMe and comes after three UK firms announced this week that they would trial the new working hours for six months.

Four-day working week

Southampton-based telecom operator Yo Telecom said its 90 employees will move from a 40-hour working week to a four-day, 32-hour working week with no cut in pay for six months starting in June. 

Two other firms, game developer Hutch, with 120 employees, and MBL Seminars, with 70 employees, will join them in the trial.

It’s the latest in a number of news stories around how people are looking to enhance work/life balance in a post-Covid world.

As people continue to place increased emphasis on their wellbeing – and companies find ways to address the challenges of hiring, and retaining talent in today’s hybrid world – LoopMe surveyed 2,158 UK consumers on 24-27 January 2022 to understand consumer sentiment towards a four-day working week.

The research reveals that over half of the consumers surveyed are in favour of the four-day working week, with almost 58% of respondents citing an increased work/life balance as one of the greatest benefits to a shorter week. 

Also, females are two times more in favour of a four-day working week than males.

Consumer concerns around the scheme include the potential for longer working hours, with 55-64 year olds in particular, citing this as the greatest drawback.

Key findings: 

Are you in favour of a four day working week?

  • Yes: 56.1%
  • Maybe: 15.6%
  • No: 28.4%

What would you consider to be the greatest benefit to a four day working week?

  • Healthier lifestyle: 10.7%
  • Smaller carbon footprint: 5.9%
  • Easier to look after your family: 15.0%
  • Increased productivity: 10.6%
  • Better work / life balance: 57.8%

What would you consider to be the greatest drawbacks of a four day working week?

  • Not realistic for your industry or job role: 18.2%
  • Change of office culture: 6.2%
  • Difficulties managing global team: 5.4%
  • Potential pay decrease: 38.0%
  • Longer working hours: 32.2%

In your current job, how realistic is it that you could work four days a week?

  • Quite or Extremely realistic: 53.6%
  • Unsure: 19.4%
  • Not that realistic or not realistic at all: 27%

What would you be likely to use the extra day off for?

  • Exercise / wellness: 36.7%
  • Childcare: 12.0%
  • Travel: 6.2%
  • Additional employment: 5.8%
  • Seeing family and friends: 39.2%

Audience Insights:

  • Females are 2X more in favour of a four day working week than males
  • Increased productivity was cited as the key benefit to a four day working week among 18-24 year olds
  • 55-64 year olds cited longer working hours as the greatest drawback to a four day working week
  • 45-54 and 55-64 year olds feel a four day working week is the most realistic in their current job
  • Females are 2X more likely to feel a four day working week is realistic in their current job than males
  • 35-44 year olds would most likely use the additional day for childcare
  • 18-24 and 45-54 year olds would most likely use the additional day for exercise / wellness
  • Females are 3X more likely use the additional day for seeing family / friends than males