Employers would be more likely to consider a four-day week if staff committed to spending all four days in an office, according to new research. Research conducted by Hays found that 43% of employers in NI would be more likely to consider offering a four-day working week if all days were spent in the workplace by staff, a figure that was higher than the overall UK figure (34%).

The survey polled 11,800 respondents across the UK, including 464 from NI.

Similarly, if given the choice, over two-thirds (71%) of workers in NI would rather a four-day work week, spending all four days in the office, compared to just 29% who would prefer to work five days a week in a hybrid setting. For the UK as a whole, 62% of workers said they would rather a four-day work week, spending all four days in the office, compared with just 38% who would prefer to work a five-day hybrid week.

The research comes after the official four-day week trial in the UK concluded with 56 out of the 61 companies who entered the trial planning to extend it. 18 of the 56 companies have already made the four-day week a permanent fixture within their organisation.

Optimism grows for a wider roll out of the four-day week

The number of NI professionals who said they would be tempted to move jobs if an organisation was offering a four-day week has increased. 70% of professionals (64% UK-wide) said they would be tempted to move to an organisation if they were offering a four-day week, up from 62% in 2022.

Among NI respondents, 72% believed the four-day week would happen, in line with the UK average of 74% and nearly all respondents (95%) from NI believe the four-day week is a good idea.
John Moore, Managing Director at Hays in Northern Ireland, said: “It’s clear from our research that the appetite for a four-day working week has increased from both professionals and employers, however in reality only 5% of respondents to our survey are working for an organisation where this is actually happening.
“Organisations were quick to adopt hybrid working as a result of the pandemic, however the four-day week is a much bigger cultural and operational shift for many organisations.
“What our research does point to is the importance of flexibility as professionals would be willing to travel into an office more often if there was better flexibility from employers on their working days. Whilst the four-day working week is an attractive offering for workers, there are lots of ways for employers to stand out from the crowd by allowing staff flexibility in the form of hybrid working, flexible hours and more.
“There are still over 1.1million unfilled job vacancies across the UK so employers need to be aware of the differing ways to attract professionals to their organisation.”


Dankse Bank MPU

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