Personal Finance

81% of full-time workers want a 4-day work week – and they're willing to make sacrifices to get it

Key Points
  • Workers want flexible schedules — and a four-day work week is at the top of their wish list.
  • More than half of those who want a shorter week would be willing to work longer days to get it.
Svetikd | E+ | Getty Images

When it comes to schedules, workers want flexibility. And a four-day work week is at the top of their wish list, according to a new survey from Bankrate.

A majority of full-time workers and job seekers — 81% — support a four-day work week versus a traditional five-day schedule.

Of those workers, 89% said they would be willing to make sacrifices to work just four days.

More than half — 54% — would be willing to work longer hours, and more than a third — 37% — would be willing to change jobs or industries. Meanwhile, more than a quarter — 27% — said they would be willing to come to their office or job location more days or work fully in person.

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Other sacrifices they would be willing to make: working off-peak hours, with 23%; working a job they're less interested in or passionate about, 17%; having fewer vacation days, 16%; having a longer commute, 12%; taking a pay cut, 10%; or taking a step back in their careers, 10%.

Just 11% of workers who want a four-day work week said they would not be willing to accept any of those tradeoffs.

The results of the July survey, which included 2,367 adults, shows that employees hope Covid-era work schedules will continue to be the norm.

Four-day workweek: Are we heading there?
Four-day workweek: Are we heading there?

"For better and for worse, we've learned a lot of lessons over these past several years, and one of those is how the nature of work has changed," said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.

Demand for remote work outstrips supply

Most full-time workers or those looking for work — 89% — said they support a four-day work week, remote work or hybrid work.

Yet some data has pointed to the demand for remote work outpacing the actual number of job postings that list it as an option, Hamrick noted.

"Just because people want this flexibility doesn't mean that it's going to be readily available," Hamrick said.

Hybrid has become the norm now.
Julia Pollack
chief economist at ZipRecruiter

ZipRecruiter's data shows 10.5% of job postings so far this year have been either remote or hybrid, down from a peak of 13.7% in 2022.

Postings for remote jobs have plateaued in most industries, according to the employment website. The exception is continuing growth for consulting or science roles.

But just because job postings with remote work are down doesn't mean it's also down in the actual share of days worked, according to Julia Pollak, chief economist at ZipRecruiter.

"Hybrid has become the norm now," Pollak said.

Moreover, the amount of remote flexibility employers are advertising in job postings may not be what they end up giving, she said.

"Employers may be saying one thing and the market may be slapping them down and telling them another," Pollak said. "And usually the market wins."

Employers that offer remote work benefit when it comes to recruitment and retention.

Employers that have been able to offer flexible schedules to workers may continue to do so even if the labor market continues to cool, Hamrick said.