Nearly a third of British employees are actively looking for a four-day working week in 2022 or have already agreed to one with their employer, according to research.
A survey of 1,000 people by Censuswide, on behalf of productivity platform ClickUp, found that 12% had already secured three days off each week, with a further 19% committed to achieving the goal this year.
A further 17% are keen on the idea but not taking any steps towards it, meaning almost half of workers would like the change.
Although demand for a four-day working week is highest among employees aged 45-54, according to the report, those aged 44 and under appear far more likely to take the bolder step of changing employer to find it.
Almost a fifth (19.4%) of 35-44 year olds said they would be prepared to quit their job next year to find a new job that offers three days off, while another 16.1% in this group plan to ask their current employer for a four-day working week in 2022.
A total of 18% of 25-34 year olds and 15.3% of 16-24 year olds said they are prepared to quit their job to achieve the goal while a further 15.6% of 25-34 year olds and 14.5% of 16-24 year olds plan to ask their employer for a four-day work week this year.
Men are more likely to ask for shorter working weeks than women, according to the data, with more than one in four male respondents to the survey saying they would ask for a four-day week this year or seek it elsewhere, compared with around one in eight females polled.
Zeb Evans, chief executive at ClickUp, said that while it is not be right for everyone, businesses need to get ready for more condensed working hours as rising numbers of people are demanding it.
He suggested that that those wanting to explore the idea could start by looking at their productivity, as there are major gains to be made by making processes more efficient, improving knowledge sharing and removing duplication of effort.
“This can have a huge effect and can be used to offset any loss in working hours,” he said. “Companies where a four-day week isn’t the right choice may choose to reinvest this extra productivity back into their businesses, which could be critical in high-growth and highly competitive sectors.”