Head-to-Head | Is doing 80% work for 100% pay the next 'new normal'?

Is doing 80% work for 100% pay the next 'new normal'?

Deep Dive

With listings for four-day-a-week roles up 90% and thousands of companies in the UK trialling the new schedule, the experts weigh in on this hot topic, and we’ve got some stats that may surprise you...

UK-based job board CV Library released data yesterday showing that on its job posting site, listings advertising an 80% total work week for 100% pay are up 89.6% YOY. Is this the future we have to look forward to? Is it the best move? Will it help curb the talent shortage?

“A year ago, these types of jobs were negligible,” says CV Library founder Lee Biggins. “A lot has changed in both the economy and the job market over the last 12 months and employers are having to seek new ways of attracting new staff, over and above competitive pay and a pension.

"Time will tell if this draws in job seekers, and we'll be keeping a close eye on application numbers. It's also crucial to see the results of the trials in place and if a four-day working week is viable and sustainable for businesses and not just a short-term solution to attract and retain top talent,” he says.

“Switching the uniform five day working week to a four day one is not the answer to the flexible working question”

Can we really get it all done in four days?

Senior HR Consultant for Kingswood Group, Gemma Todd, believes so.

“According to Statista, in March 2022, the average weekly number of hours worked by full-time workers in the United Kingdom was 36.6. In Norway, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands, the average hours worked per week are around 27, which is around the same number of hours proposed for a UK four-day work week; 28 hours over four-days,” she explains.

“While there are many who might fear that a shorter working week would negatively impact on productivity, the evidence from organisations in countries that have adopted a four-day week policy do not seem to show any detriment to productivity or business outputs in any way. Indeed, they have demonstrably benefited from a shorter week through increases in employee satisfaction, stronger commitment to the company and significant decreases in stress levels in employees.”

While the indicators seem in favour of more productivity in fewer hours, it’s best, as ever, to trust the science. And that means a widescale trial of a four-day week.

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