Say good-bye to work culture?

New poll suggests four-day working week now more important than work socials and relationships.

good bye to work culture four day week


Three quarters of professionals (71%) have stated that they would be willing to give up work socials and relationships with colleagues, in favour of a four-day working week.

The findings come from a recent poll by leading recruiter Robert Walters, of 3,000+ working professionals – and highlights the ‘not-so appealing side’ of the four-day week to employers, with office relationships taking the biggest hit.

Chris Poole, Managing Director of Robert Walters UK, said,Workplaces have only just turned a corner and started to see more faces in the office – with that has come a burst of energy, collaboration, creativity, and productivity. It is a slight kick-in-the-teeth to hear that a progressive well-being initiative such as a four-day week could have such a detrimental impact on workplace culture and business relationships.”

“With the trials of four-days being so new to many organisations, the long-term impact is hard to ascertain – but with 71% of professionals willing to forego socials and business relationships, companies should be mindful that poor company culture already costs the UK economy upwards of £20bn a year.”

According to the findings from Robert Walters, a staggering 91% of professionals would be keen for their employer to implement a four-day week. In fact, a four-day week now tops the poll on most desirable perks when applying for a job – with 49% stating that this would appeal to them most on a job description, followed by the ability to work from anywhere (35%).

With half of professionals who would like a four-day week expecting their full pay to remain the same, debates have begun on whether the post-pandemic workforce are ‘the most entitled yet’ – with fewer professionals feeling responsibility for the financial health or stability of their employer.

Just 15% of professionals stated that they would take a 10-15% pay increase over the option of a 4-day week, and it seems office-based soft perks such as work socials or complimentary lunch or breakfasts, are less appealing in the face of fewer working days – with just 1% stating that they would opt for this over a four-day working week.

Earlier this year the independent trail of 60+ companies and around 2,900 employees undertaking a four-day week concluded – with many highlighting this as a resounding success.

Poole added, “Just as with every kind of trial, a balanced view of the results needs to be provided to assist us in understanding what does and doesn’t work. There is definitely a place for the four-day working week in business but maybe it’s not the silver bullet to increase productivity and improved wellbeing as first thought.”

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