The concept has been “transformative” for businesses in the UK.
Yet fewer Irish workplaces than ever are offering employees a four-day working week – despite the fact that it could be a clever way to attract new talent.
The number of workplaces that have either implemented or are trialling a four-day working week has dropped from six percent in 2022 to 3.5% percent in 2023, according to a new survey by recruiters, Hays Ireland.
A survey of almost 1,000 (973) employers and professionals across Ireland revealed that 73 percent of Irish professionals would consider moving to a different organisation to avail of a shorter working week, a rise of almost ten percent on last year’s figure.
The vast majority of those surveyed thought that the four-day working week will become a reality within the next decade 81 percent, with only 19 percent of the opinion that it will never come into being.
Amongst companies in Ireland to trial a four-day working week, 88 percent of employees said that it has had a positive impact on their professional life. The same number (88 percent) found that it was beneficial to their personal life.
Lessons from abroad
Last month, the results of a six-month trial involving 61 companies in the UK revealed that 92 percent opted to continue working four days when the trial had ended.
Benefits were said to include improved employee well-being and work-life balance.
Employers too reaped the rewards from the new arrangement; Simon Ursall, the managing director of landscape consultancy Tyler Grange told The Guardian’s Today In Focus podcast that the trial had been transformative for his business.
Further to improving employee happiness and productivity, Ursall said his business was substantially more profitable and all while working one day less but paying employees the same.
“Since the emergence from the pandemic restrictions, employers have begun to reconsider the workplace environment,” said Maureen Lynch, Operations Director at Hays Ireland.
“The switch to remote and hybrid working models has proven hugely successful. All professionals have embraced these new ways of working with the four-day working week becoming the latest idea to enhance employers’ differentiation from competitors.”