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Want a four-day workweek? 30% of companies are considering it

Want a four-day workweek? 30% of companies are considering it
Posted at 8:30 AM, Apr 15, 2024

A new report from KPMG, a professional services organization, indicates that CEOs are exploring ways to keep their employees from experiencing burnout. In fact, a full 30% say they are considering schedule shifts, such as shortening the workweek from five days to four or four-and-a-half days.

The 2024 KPMG CEO Outlook Pulse Survey analyzed insights from more than 100 company executives on the challenges and opportunities their businesses currently face. These include subjects such as the use of AI, new governmental regulations designed to mitigate climate change, tax policy changes, supply chain issues, tight labor markets, and more.

MORE: Bare Minimum Mondays let employees ease into the workweek 

When it comes to retaining talent and creating a thriving company culture, 74% of CEOs said they were working on initiatives designed to improve their workers’ mental health. A majority of those surveyed noted that they are considering generative AI solutions along with trainings and the strengthening of personal relationships with co-workers, while almost a third are open to the idea of organization-wide schedule changes, such as four-day workweeks.

A woman sits, looking at her laptop and rubbing her temples as if stressed.
Adobe

“We are all working to figure out what is optimal, and we will continue to experiment and pivot,” Paul Knopp, chair and CEO of KPMG US, told CNN.

This may be welcome news to a majority of Americans. In a Gallup/Bentley University poll from late last year that surveyed 3,200 workers, a full 77% said they believed a four-day 40-hour workweek would benefit their well-being.

Some studies and early adopters have indicated positive results from moving to this model; a recent trial of 2,900 workers found that the four-day workweek increased job satisfaction, reduced employee stress, improved work-life balance, and showed an uptick in product quality and customer service. In fact, 92% of the 61 U.K. companies in the study decided to continue with the four-day workweek experiment even after it ended.

The movement has recently gained more steam in the U.S. as Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders last month introduced legislation to move nationally to a four-day work week. His version is a touch more radical, as it wants to reduce the workweek to 32 hours.

“It is time to reduce the stress level in our country and allow Americans to enjoy a better quality of life,” Sanders said in a statement. “It is time for a 32-hour workweek with no loss in pay.”

happy-workers-construction
Adobe

MORE: Return to work mandates don’t make companies more profitable, study finds

However, Gallup experts and others caution that, based on the results of previous studies, four-day workweeks don’t work for everyone in every situation. For example, while finance workers may benefit, healthcare workers and trade workers may not. The four-day work experiment remains an experiment for many. Still, some say we could see the reduced workweek become normalized within five to 10 years.

As for the companies that might resist the four-day model? Well, some CEOs are becoming more bullish on hybrid attendance, too. In 2023, 34% of them agreed that hybrid workplaces were the way to go; in 2024, that number is up to 46%. Hopefully, this all means that job culture will become more worker-friendly in the near future.


Want a four-day workweek? 30% of companies are considering it originally appeared on Simplemost.com