Majority of employees would swap jobs for reduced working week

51% of Irish professionals would swap jobs for a compressed four-day working week.

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Three in four Irish professionals would change jobs for one that allowed for nine working days over the course of two weeks, a survey by a recruitment firm has found.

The survey of 1,597 employers and employees was conducted by Hays Ireland. It also found more than half of these professionals, 51%, would consider changing jobs for a compressed four-day working week.

Hays Ireland managing director Maureen Lynch said its research into the changes in the work environment, brought on by the pandemic, is still in its early days and employees “favour greater autonomy relating to the hours they work and where they work from”.

The concept of a four-day working week has gained momentum in the last 12 months. The latest iteration of this concept is the nine-day working fortnight, which would allow employees to take off every second Friday.” 

Despite the survey showing a lot of support for reduced working weeks, Ms Lynch said the research suggests “employers and employees are still grappling with what this would look like in practice, and which sectors would be most suited to this new way of working”.

“Either way, it is positive that these questions are being asked and that old ways of working are now being challenged.”

According to the survey, 56% of employers are anticipating that staff will be required back in the office more often in the next 12 months, with 34% expecting it to remain the same. Just 10% of employers think people will be required in the office less frequently.

Of the employers surveyed, 50% are offering paid for or subsidised lunch as an incentive for people to come back to the office, 48% are offering bike storage and shower facilities, 30% are offering onsite childcare, and 25% are giving people the option to bring pets into the office.


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