According to a recent survey, nearly two thirds of Australians think that working five days a week may soon become a thing of the past as businesses adopt a new four-day standard.
In a recent survey, over half of the 42,000 workers polled by recruiting agency Hays predicted they will work four days per week within five years, and 16% predicted it would happen within a year.
While a further fifth said it will take another ten years to become a reality, the final fifth believed it will never happen.
It comes at a time when research suggests that a three-day weekend can act as a mini-vacation, enhancing worker health, while unions claim that Australians are working longer hours and finding it harder to combine their personal and professional life.
According to Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays Australia New Zealand, “the optimism and aspiration from workers is clear.”
From a worker’s perspective, that clearly indicates that’s what their expectation is, he added.
Due to potential productivity losses, many firms are still wary of implementing a four-day workweek, he said.
I believe that’s one of the most important factors: Can we continue operate our business successfully? Can we maintain high productivity without negatively impacting the bottom line?
However, he warned that switching to a four-day workweek could have an impact on employee retention rates and where they choose to work.
Staff who took on more work during the pandemic, when skills and labor were in short supply, may benefit from the four-day workweek.
Workers have been forced to take on heavier burdens, and I believe there is a limit to how long individuals can or want to do that,stated Mr. Deligiannis.
According to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus, work-life balance is frequently addressed but rarely realized by the majority of employees.
According to Ms. McManus, who spoke to AAP, “Australians work some of the longest hours in the developed world; it is definitely time we reduced them and shared hours with those who want more.”
“A four-day work week is something we ought to think about,”
A 13-month University of South Australia study on the advantages of taking time off from work discovered that vacationers were more likely to be active, socialize, and sleep more.
Even if the advantages grew according to the length of the holiday, a three-day weekend produced excellent results.
According to lead researcher Carol Maher, “This study provides empirical evidence that people have healthier lifestyle patterns when they have a short break, such as a three-day weekend.”
A parliamentary committee demanded a government-supported trial of the four-day work week earlier this month to evaluate how it affected people’s lives.
The study would follow the 100:80:100 paradigm, in which employees would continue to receive their salaries and maintain their productivity but would miss one day of work.
Unilever, Bright Agency, and Fintech startup Indebted are just a few Australian businesses that have already changed their business models.
After seeing encouraging results in New Zealand, where absenteeism reduced by a third and revenue increased over an 18-month period, Unilever made the decision to expand their trial to Australia.
At the trial’s launch last year, Unliever CEO for Australia and New Zealand Nicky Sparshott suggested that a four-day workweek could give a business a competitive edge.
This is about testing innovative approaches to get rid of obstacles that can prevent value creation and cause us to go more slowly, he said.