Three-quarters (75%) of UK employees are in favour of a four-day working week, even if they it would mean fitting full-time hours from a five-day week into a shorter timeframe, according to research by financial comparison website KnowYourMoney.co.uk.
Its survey of 2,000 UK adults in either full or part-time work also found that 49% would take a 20% pay cut in order to move to a four-day working week, with 32% of those surveyed saying that they are unhappy with their current work-life balance.
Seven in 10 (71%) respondents consider flexible working, both in terms of hours and location, to be important for their job satisfaction; 74% of women agree with this, compared to 67% of men. However, 50% of respondents state that they cannot currently work remotely when they want or need to, while 46% do not have flexibility in the hours that they work.
Almost three in 10(29%) full-time employees in the UK have left a job in the last 12 months because they wanted greater flexibility, while 37% are currently looking for a new job for this reason; this increases to 52% among those aged between 18 and 24, and 46% for those aged between 25 and 34.
Just over two-fifths (42%) of respondents stated that they do not believe that their employer supports or cares about their mental health.
Nic Redfern (pictured), director at KnowYourMoney.co.uk, said: “Working practices have changed radically over the past two decades; the rise of new tech has made it far easier and more common for employees to work remotely and flexibly.
“However, our research clearly shows many [employees] feel their employers have not yet caught up with the flexible working trend, so it’s important [that] managers take note of these findings and assess how they can cater to the demands of their workforce.
“Evidently, organisations are at risk of losing talented staff if they cannot provide more flexible structures, whether that’s relaxing the set office hours, allowing employees to work from home, or even offering the option of a four-day week.
“Ultimately, technology shouldn’t increase employees’ stress [levels] by preventing them [from switching] off, but instead should be embraced to create new opportunities for people to achieve a better work-life balance.”