One-third of UK companies think that most workers will be able to work only four days a week in the next ten years.
But almost every company that wants to cut work hours in the next three years also wants to cut pay.
New research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development shows that only 1% of employers plan to cut hours without cutting pay (CIPD)
Only 11% of workers are willing to take a pay cut, even though 31% of workers would like to work fewer hours.
Most companies would have to improve their efficiency, work smarter, or use more technology if they wanted to switch to a four-day work week without cutting pay (68 per cent).
In fact, productivity, which is measured by the amount of work done or outputs, fell by 30% in companies that cut hours. This is happening at the same time that Britain’s terrible productivity record is back in the news and the government is pushing for growth.
Still, it’s important to note that the whole idea of a weekend is a fairly new one. Most factories used to be open on Saturday mornings and close for lunch. In 1932, when unemployment was high because of the Great Depression, the United States made the five-day work week a law. In 1934, Boots the Chemist in Britain switched to a five-day work week.
A big point of contention
Jonathan Boys, a senior labour market economist at the CIPD, said, “The biggest problem is that productivity needs to go up by a huge 25% to make up for the lost output due to fewer days of work.”
The 4 Day Week campaign is running a big test in the UK. When the six-month test was over, most people said they planned to keep working shorter hours. In a survey of more than 70 companies, 86 percent of those who answered said they would keep the four-day week.
As the cost-of-living crisis gets worse, the idea of a four-day week is also in danger. People who want to make more money are more likely to want to work more hours instead of less.
The results come from a survey of 2,000 employers and data from the ONS Labour Force Survey about how long people work.