A remarkable shift in job seekers’ preferences has been observed, with an escalating demand for positions that offer a 4-day work week, effectively gifting employees “year-round bank holidays.”

The findings, gathered by Flexa, the platform heralded for connecting job seekers with flexible companies, have uncovered a paradigm shift in the modern work landscape.

Over a span of 13 months, from June 2022 to July 2023, Flexa delved into the role preferences of more than 25,000 job seekers.

The platform’s data underscores a striking 38 percent increase in individuals seeking companies that embrace a 4-day work week, during a period marked by the initiation of the UK’s 4-day week trial in June 2022.

The 4-day work week

The month of July 2023 bore witness to a notable trend, as an astonishing 47 percent of all job seekers focused their search on roles offering a 4-day work week. Furthermore, 36 percent exhibited interest in positions that featured 4.5-day work weeks, a testament to the growing acceptance of alternative work arrangements.

This trend emerges against a backdrop of large corporations, including industry giants Amazon and Zoom, tightening their stance on workplace flexibility. Despite this push for traditional office setups, the demand for reduced working hours and adaptable schedules has steadfastly risen.

The efficacy of the UK’s 4-day week trial reverberates in the data. Improved employee well-being, reduced sick leave, and heightened productivity have been reported as its outcomes. Such successes have fuelled support for a new Parliamentary Bill advocating for a reduction of the maximum working week to 32 hours, equivalent to a 4-day work week.

Molly Johnson-Jones, Co-founder and CEO of Flexa Careers, shared her insights:

“UK workers typically enjoy eight bank holidays annually. If a business can seamlessly implement a 4-day work week, why shouldn’t they? Research unequivocally demonstrates that abbreviated work weeks amplify employee well-being and efficiency. At Flexa, we frequently hear from individuals who’ve experienced greater contentment and health by virtue of having additional time to allocate to personal endeavours and meaningful relationships—without neglecting daily responsibilities.”

She continued, “The escalating demand for shortened work weeks is an entirely logical development. Forward-looking employers are attuned to this fact. Industry leaders such as Atom Bank, Hydrogen Group, and JBM are exemplars of companies that are embracing the 4-day work week model. While not every entity may adopt this approach, heightened awareness of diverse flexibility options translates to expanded opportunities for businesses to identify novel, more efficient ways of operating.”

 

 

 

 

Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.