25% of employees would accept pay cut for four-day week

Research by office designers MoreySmith has revealed that one in four employees would move to working a four-day week even if their wages were reduced by one-fifth.

The survey of 1,017 UK adults in full or part-time work focused on asking about people’s expectations of work, following 14 months of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) restrictions and working from home.

A total of 70% of respondents stated they were in favour of switching to a four-day week with the same salary, with 14% against the idea. Another one in four employees (25%) indicated they would be willing to lose a day’s pay to move to this pattern.

Sign up to our newsletters

Receive news and guidance on a range of HR issues direct to your inbox

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

MoreySmith’s poll also revealed that two-thirds (66%) of employees said flexible start times will be an important factor in their decision to return to the office, with almost half (43%) of people wanting access to mental health facilities on-site. A further 44% of people answered that access to outdoor terraces and gardens will be something they consider in their decision to return to their workspace.

Linda Morey-Burrows, founder and principal director of MoreySmith, explained that many companies want employees to return to the office on 21 June to “reinstate a sense of identity and common single purpose”.

She said: “We are finding that while many young people are desperate to return to the workplace for a better, more social working environment, employees with a long commute and young children are often more reluctant to stop working from home.”

Morey-Burrows added: “As this polling demonstrates, it’s essential that workspaces are designed to encourage and stimulate this return to work. Offices must be designed to cater for the new world with flexibility, comfort, outside spaces and sociability in mind. I think these results are a snapshot of opinion today and it’s important that we take a measured response and continue to look forward and create spaces people love to be in.”