Four-day workweek: Employees want it, yet 6 out of 10 companies in Romania are reluctant


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The four-day workweek is coming back to the attention of the players on the labor market, as the largest international experiment in this regard has recently ended and had positive results. In the UK, 92% of companies that have tested the 4-day format instead of 5, without increasing the number of hours in the daily schedule, plan to continue, while 30% will adopt it permanently. Although it would completely revolutionize the dynamics on the labor market in Romania, currently only 4 out of 10 companies would accept this work formula, according to a recent survey conducted by the recruitment platform BestJobs.

After the difficult years in which the labor market was dominated by trends related to resignation or reducing the effort at work, this new measure would be welcome to increase employee retention. Moreover, the provisions of the Labor Code allow the redistribution of the activity during 4 working days, instead of 5, as it is currently, so the decision remains with the employers if they are willing to reduce the number of days worked.

Although 80% of employees want to work only four days a week, even in the 10-hour-a-day formula, according to the BestJobs survey, 40% of employers fear that this schedule would negatively influence people’s ability to focus and implicitly productivity . Almost 35% are concerned that, in the long term, employees would reach exhaustion due to the increased daily workload, although the results of the international experiment show the opposite.

On the day off, respondents say they would do more family activities (59%), take care of administrative tasks that they can’t handle during working hours (44%), devote more time to passions and hobbies (40%) or would choose to rest (39%). In other words, the day off would contribute to a more balanced lifestyle.

 “Just as remote work was seen as the exception before the pandemic, so too seems to be the short work week now. It’s no wonder such a trend is so well-received among employees, especially after the impact on mental well-being in recent years. Employees want more free time, to disconnect from the pressure of the job, to devote to family and loved ones, to invest in activities that have an impact on physical and mental health, as they say in the survey. Employers should be open to such a measure, because it will come to be at least as valued as flexibility is today, and will help attract and retain valuable employees. In addition, you can find work distribution formulas that ensure the presence of a part of the employees at the office every working day, so that they fit into the clients’ schedule”, says Ana Vișian, BestJobs Marketing Manager.

Reducing the working week would also have a positive effect on the way of working. Currently, the results of the BestJobs survey show that 4 out of 10 employees work in a hybrid system, while 29% work entirely remotely and 28% only from the office. The hybrid system is implemented differently from one company to another, so most (37%) work only one day from the office and 4 from home. Another 28% go to the office 2 days a week, 20% make this commute for 3 days a week and 14% work only one day from home.

The survey was conducted in February, with 2,223 internet users responding from among employees and 254 respondents representing companies.

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