A majority, 81%, of workers say they'd be more productive if they were given the chance to work a four-day workweek, and it could be an even bigger boost for those facing high rates of burnout, according to new research.
The poll was conducted on Fishbowl by Glassdoor and considers more than 12,000 responses from U.S. professionals.
Workers in fields with notoriously high rates of burnout were the most likely to say they'd get more done if they were able to shift to a four-day schedule: health-care workers, teachers, and retail and hospitality professionals.
The burnout-productivity cycle is "vicious," he adds. Left unchecked, burned out workers are more likely to look for work elsewhere, and "when they do quit, that leaves more work for their remaining teammates who then risk further burnout."
Participants in global four-day workweek experiments say the new arrangement led to reduced burnout, as well as benefits for their health, finances and relationships. A majority of bosses rated their overall experience well, saying business performance and productivity remained high, revenue increased and turnover dropped.
So far, many conversations around the viability of a four-day week tend to center around office workers, though the Glassdoor data shows how scheduling flexibility — and in particular reduced working days — could benefit front-line workers.
"We should also keep in mind that, particularly for health care, we should not conflate a workday with an eight-hour 9-to-5 schedule," Terrazas says. "Many health-care workers are accustomed to working longer continuous hours from their medical training."
Meanwhile, those in legal, accounting and finance roles say a shortened week would not boost their productivity.
By gender, women (88%) were more likely than men (75%) to say they'd get more done from a shorter workweek.
"For many women, the expectation to juggle family and child-care responsibilities alongside their careers forces a rigorous focus on making the most out of every moment of their day," Terrazas says. "I suspect we're seeing a similar phenomenon here: Time constraints often force a ruthless prioritization of what matters most."
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