The work-life balance it has become a matter of high importance on the political and business agenda. The flexibility in the work environment and the reduction of the working day to four days a week are some of the issues that are currently being debated. For this reason, the consulting firm Capterra has carried out a study on the expectations of employees of small and medium-sized companies in Spain who currently work at least five days a week.
One of the main findings of this survey is that only 7% of employees who work five or more days a week say they do so at companies that have adopted the four-day work week in some areas. For their part, 21% ensure that their organization the implementation of this day has been proposed, while the majority, 61%, maintains that the company in which they work does not plan to apply this measure.
The low implementation of the four-day work week clashes with the high interest of workers. According to the study, 88% of employees who work in companies with a traditional work week admit to being interested in a reduction.
Under what conditions would employees accept reduced hours?
Just over six in 10 employees interested in the four-day workweek would adopt it if they kept their current salary, even if it means working the same hours. Likewise, 32% would accept only if they maintain their current salary by working fewer hours, while 7% would be willing to a salary reduction if they work fewer hours.
Another issue associated with this measure is whether workers would change jobs to get reduced hours. 72% of those surveyed interested in this type of work week affirm that they would change jobs to obtain the four-day week, yes, only if they maintained the same conditions they have in their current job.
Four-day workshop: greater well-being and productivity
For those respondents who work in companies where the four-day workweek has not been implemented in any area, what employee benefits do you think its implementation would bring? The three most prominent advantages they are a greater balance of personal and professional life (63%); more time to disconnect from work and dedicate it to hobbies (50%); and a positive impact on well-being (37%).
In parallel, the surveyed employees also value some advantages that organizations would have by implementing the four-day shift. On the one hand, 61% believe that there would be an increase in employee satisfaction; 41% affirm that productivity would be increased; and 40% believe that the company’s operating costs would be lower and that there would be an opportunity to be more respectful of the environment (energy savings, less use of paper and other materials, etc.).
What negative impact would the four-day work week have?
Despite the great interest in this new model, respondents think that some disadvantages would also emerge. Half of the employees anticipate that working hours would be longer and almost the same number of those surveyed believe that there would be a risk of work overload. On the other hand, 37% assume that there would be a decrease in income due to the reduction in days worked.
The negative consequences would also affect companies, according to the SME employees surveyed. The Capterra study highlights the operational complexity of implementation (39%), associated bureaucracy (32%), and challenges related to employee income (31%).
According to Capterra data, 51% of respondents say that their organization has flexible hours, so it can be adjusted within certain limits. Meanwhile, 49% of employees state that they strict hours, that is to say, fixed schedules that cannot be modified, are the ones that best describe the policy of your company. These results reflect the existing equality between both situations.
In this context, nine out of ten employees with strict work schedules would like to have more flexibility when it comes to organizing their work schedule. However, despite the interest in having more flexible scheduleonly 15% of workers with strict hours admit that the implementation of flexible hours is planned in their company, while 66% affirm that their organization does not.