Over half of Irish workers believe a four-day working week is coming very soon 2 months ago

Over half of Irish workers believe a four-day working week is coming very soon

Are you 'four' it, etc?

More than half of Irish professionals are of the mind that a four-day working week – a subject of continuous debate – will soon be a reality.

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That's the big takeaway from a new survey carried out by recruitment company Hays Ireland.

Conducted in March amongst 1,500 employers and professionals, with 888 responses received in total, the survey found that 54% of people believe that a four-day working week will come into play inside the next five years.

Last October, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions issued a fresh call for the practice, reflective of an ongoing conversation throughout the country.

As of May 2022, a reported 6% of Irish workplaces have implemented a four-day week, either on a trial or permanent basis.

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The new survey also recorded that 64% of Irish professionals would be tempted to move to another job if that organisation was offering a four-day working week.

56% of those questioned cited employee mental health and wellbeing as the key factor for a transition to four days instead of five.

Earlier this year, Belgium became the latest country to offer workers the option of a four-day working week.

Workers are still expected to account for a 38-hour week, though they have the opportunity to complete the allotted hours across a condensed four-day period.

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Employees are permitted to request a six-month trial period, switching to a permanent basis afterwards should they desire to do so.

“The last two years have encouraged employers to reconsider the workplace environment," said Maureen Lynch, director of Hays Ireland.

"The switch to remote- and hybrid-working models have proven hugely successful. Both employers and employees have bought into this new way of working, with over 76% of Irish-based professionals attributing the hybrid model to a better work-life balance. 

 "While the number of employers currently offering a four-day working week is still extremely low, today’s research suggests that this may soon change," Lynch continued.

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"At a time when the market has never been more competitive, the proposition of a four-day working week may present an exciting new opportunity for employers to differentiate themselves from their competitors."