Over 75% of U.S. workers say they could complete the same amount of work in 4 days rather than 5


As younger generations like Gen Z and Millennials become a larger part of the workforce, their expectations of the workplace are changing. One notable shift is the increasing demand for a 4-day workweek. According to a report by Fiverr, over 75% of US workers believe they could complete their current workload in a four-day workweek instead of five. This sentiment is particularly strong among Millennials, with 87% expressing support for a shorter workweek. The survey, which included over 1,000 global workers, reveals a significant generational divide in workplace trends. Interestingly, while younger workers are seeking more flexibility in their schedules, they still prefer in-person interactions over remote work.

Although there is a growing demand for a four-day workweek, current workplace practices have been slow to change. The consulting firm EY's annual Workplace Index indicates that although the four-day workweek has gained popularity in other parts of the world, it has seen limited adoption by US companies until recently. This suggests a notable disconnect between what employees are asking for and what employers are implementing.

The average US worker reports being productive for approximately 31 hours per week, which is roughly equivalent to a four-day workweek. Among Gen Z workers, this number drops even further to 29 hours per week. This decline in hours worked is not indicative of laziness but rather reflects a shift in workplace values. Workers now want to be evaluated based on the quality of their work and business outcomes rather than solely on the number of hours spent in the office.

Historian Ben Hunnicutt argues that the 40-hour workweek, which has become the norm, is not a necessary economic requirement but a cultural value. However, the preferences of workers are evolving, with many expressing a desire for a shorter workweek. A survey conducted by Monster found that one in three workers would leave their current job for a four-day workweek, even if it meant taking a pay cut. Similarly, a significant portion of workers (over 40%) feel most productive outside of regular 9-to-5 work hours. Lack of work flexibility, cited by 21% of respondents in a Flexjobs survey, has also been a driving factor for wanting to leave their current jobs.

These trends are particularly evident among Gen Z workers. They place a high value on flexibility in working hours, with nearly a third of them feeling more creative and inspired during early mornings or late evenings. While they appreciate flexibility, they are not as keen on working from home as other generations. Baby Boomers are the most likely to prefer remote work (40%), followed by Gen X (32%) and Millennials (29%). Gen Z workers, on the other hand, enjoy in-person interactions but are open to different work environments, such as public places like coffee shops, that offer both flexibility and the opportunity to meet and engage with others.

In summary, as younger generations continue to shape the workforce, there is a clear desire for a shorter workweek and increased flexibility. Employers should take note of these shifting values and consider implementing policies that align with the needs and preferences of their employees.  

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