1 in 3 people would quit for a 4-day workweek job, according to a new report

Hispanolistic | E+ | Getty Images

The four-day workweek is gaining momentum, and people say they're willing to quit to have it.

A majority, 61%, of workers say they'd rather have a four-day workweek than the traditional five, and 33% say they'd quit their job to for one with a shortened week, according to a Monster survey of 868 workers conducted in March.

That's a "significant" share, says Vicki Salemi, career expert at Monster, adding that the numbers show a shift in workers reconsidering how they prioritize their time on and off the clock.

The timing is interesting, too: While major companies across tech and finance have announced major layoffs recently, Salemi says many workers still feel empowered in expecting more flexibility at work. Some seasonal attitudes may be at play, she adds, like people thinking ahead to summer travel plans and wanting shorter workweeks to accommodate for them.

Half of those surveyed say they'd be more productive with a shortened workweek, and 10% would even take a pay cut for the benefit.

Companies and lawmakers want to experiment with shortened weeks

For decades, the four-day workweek has been seen as an out-of-reach work benefit that would never catch on, but the tide is turning as more global experiments show how companies make it work.

One six-month trial run by the nonprofit 4 Day Week Global, considered to be the world's largest four-day workweek experiment, ended on a high note: Workers reported being less burned out, more engaged, and happier with their daily work, personal lives, finances and relationships. Businesses counted the benefits, too, like higher productivity and satisfaction, which translated to higher revenue and less turnover.

Some legislators are using positive trial results to try and make shortened workweeks the law.

A new bill introduced by Maryland lawmakers in January incentivizes both public and private employers to experiment with a shortened workweek without cutting pay and benefits.

And at the federal level, California Congressman Mark Takano reintroduced his 32-hour Workweek Act to Congress, which, if passed, would officially reduce the standard definition of the workweek from 40 hours to 32 hours and mandate overtime pay for any work done beyond that time.

More companies may experiment with a shortened workweek, especially if they can't award raises or promotions in a challenging economic environment. The share of companies offering a 4-day workweek benefit reached the 10% threshold for the first time last year, according to a recent Payscale report.

"Employees are looking for flexibility," says Payscale pay equity analyst Ruth Thomas, "potentially as they continue to experience a decline in real wage growth [and] seeing themselves working longer hours, they're seeking some level of return."

Workers admit they're not productive 5 days a week

The structure of a shortened workweek can vary a lot, with some companies opting for four 10-hour days and others cutting down to a 32-hour workweek, for example. A majority of workers from the Monster survey, 56%, say they'd be willing to work longer days in order to have three-day weekends every week.

Some of these workers may already be working 10-hour days, Salemi says, and see the value in getting a full day back to themselves even after putting in 40 hours in a week.

And more than one-third admit they're not productive all five days out of the week anyway. Some 15% say they've engaged in so-called "Bare Minimum Mondays," the new buzzword du jour that describes doing minimal work on Mondays and being productive the rest of the week; meanwhile, 22% of workers say they're focused at the start of their week but might be less productive on Fridays.

A slim majority, 53%, of people, say they're productive all five days of the workweek.

Overall, roughly four in 10 people from the Monster survey said they'd rather stick to a traditional five-day week.

"My first thought is maybe they're concerned about working longer days in order to achieve fifth day off, or they wonder if they'll really be off that fifth day," Salemi says. "That tells me there needs to be clear definitions from employers about what their four-day workweek looks like in order to address this hesitancy."

DON'T MISS: Want to be smarter and more successful with your money, work & life? Sign up for our new newsletter!

Take this survey and tell us how you want to take your money and career to the next level.

Check out:

Congressman wants to make 32-hour workweek U.S. law to 'increase the happiness of humankind'

How to get hired by a 4-day week company

This coaching business wants to help bring the 4-day workweek to ‘hundreds of thousands’ more people

Making $86,000 a year as a subway conductor in NYC
Making $86,000 a year as a subway conductor in NYC