The pandemic ushered in a new way of working and it hasn’t left. In fact, workers have warmed to hybrid and remote working so much that many won’t go back into the office full-time. A new survey from Bankrate reveals workplace flexibility is a top priority and that workers are willing to make significant trade-offs to obtain a shorter work week and the opportunity to work mostly from home.
Four day work week
The four-day work week has robust support from all groups that were surveyed. 81% of full-time workers and job seekers support working a 4-day work week as opposed to the traditional 5-day work week. Just 11% said they would not be willing to make any of these sacrifices to work a 4-day work week.
A majority of younger workers, 93 % of Gen Z and 91% of millennials , are more likely to support the 4-day work week. Their older counterparts, 87% of both Gen X and boomers , like the idea as well. More women (93%) back the idea than men (87%).
About 1 in 3 workers (37%) would be willing to change jobs or industries to secure a 4-day schedule. Other trade-offs they are willing to make include: working longer hours (54%), coming into the office or place of work more days/working fully in-person (27%), receiving fewer vacation days (16%), having a longer commute (12%) or taking a pay cut (10%).
Hybrid and remote working
The hybrid work is also uniformly popular. Of those in the workforce, 68% support a hybrid schedule, and of those workers, 73% would be willing to make a sacrifice at work to attain a hybrid schedule. The most common trade-offs include 37% of workers who would be willing to change jobs/industries and 28% who would be willing to work off-peak hours. Gen Z (85%) and millennials (77%) who prefer hybrid work are more willing to make a sacrifice to attain it than Gen X (63%) and boomers (62%).
Remote schedules also get the support of 64% of Americans in the workforce. They support fully remote schedules as opposed to fully in person, and 78% who support fully remote work would be willing to make a sacrifice to attain that situation.
Gen Z (81%) and millennial workers (83%) who prefer to work remotely full-time would be willing to make a sacrifice compared to 76% of Gen X and 58% of boomers. The most commonly cited sacrifices: willing to change jobs/industries (42%) and work off-peak hours (35%).
“Given the high number of job openings in the U.S., employers who have the flexibility to accommodate evolving preferences for working conditions may gain competitive advances in attracting and retaining talent, particularly among younger and female workers. Employers who fail to take notice of these shifts in preferences risk losing team members,” said Bankrate Senior Economic Analyst, Mark Hamrick.
Donna joined Kiplinger as a personal finance writer in 2023. Previously, she spent more than a decade as the contributing editor of J.K.Lasser's Your Income Tax Guide and edited state specific legal treatises at ALM Media. She has shared her expertise as a guest on Bloomberg, CNN, Fox, NPR, CNBC and many other media outlets around the nation. Donna graduated from Brooklyn Law School and University at Buffalo.
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