As the four-day work week becomes a prevalent topic of discussion for employers, the question has arisen of whether staff would be willing to take a pay cut to facilitate it.

According to recent research by Owl Labs, 65 per cent of UK employees say they would rather earn less than work a full five-day week.

With nearly one in three employees switching jobs in the past two years, and the demand for flexibility higher than ever, what should employers be aware of?

Are you being flexible?

Even without the four-day work week, it is clear to see that flexibility is key to retaining top talent in a post-pandemic world.

As of now, 26 per cent of businesses are operating flexible working hours, and how this is implemented should be a collaborative choice between employer and employee.

Of those surveyed, over a third of employees say they are more productive when working remotely. As opposed to this, 43 per cent haven’t experienced a change in their level of productivity.

Additionally, over one third of British employees would choose to refuse a job offer if flexible hours are not provided.

Why consider a four-day week?

14 per cent of companies have launched a four-day work week so far. So, does it work?

Crusaders for the incentive have long stated that making employees work for four days instead of five improves productivity.

Moreover, researchers in Iceland found that a four-day work week, without a pay cut, enhanced wellbeing and productivity.

Frank Weishaupt, CEO of Owl Labs, said: “It’s clear from our research that employees are demanding more from their employers when it comes to overall job satisfaction. Offering a wide range of benefits has never been more important as workers are open to exploring alternative employers that offer a better balance.”

As the world of work continues to evolve, employers in the UK may no longer be able to simply offer hybrid work as an option, but other means of flexibility, too.

When it comes to cutting wages, employers should first consider the feasibility of a four-day week for their business, taking employees’ circumstances into consideration and whether they would be willing to do this.

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