THE 4 DAY WORKING WEEK VS REMOTE AND FLEXIBLE WORKING
Posted on 15th March 2023
There’s been lots of discussion over the past few years about the prevalence of remote, hybrid and flexible working. Marked since the beginning of the pandemic, these approaches have become permanent features in shaping today’s workplace. But have these perks already started to lose their shine in favour of a new boundary-breaking trend: the four-day working week? Let’s explore how each of these developments are shaping the current workplace and their predicted importance for remaining ahead-of-the-curve for future hiring strategies.
REMOTE & HYBRID WORKING
‘Remote’, ‘hybrid’ and ‘flexible’ are terms often mistakenly used interchangeably. ‘Flexible working’ largely pre-dates Covid, with the formalities around hours worked being adjusted to accommodate commitments such as childcare, transport and commuting requirements.
‘Remote working’ really came to the foreground during Covid, with employees carrying out their roles where possible at home. In fact, the proportion of people working exclusively at home rose from 5.7% in Jan-Feb 2020 to 43.1% in April 2020(1). The prevalence of remote working has become less clear-cut since Covid with 21% of employees reporting never wanting to work from home in 2022, while 19% pulled in the opposite direction and wanted to work from home 5 days a week(2). Interestingly, older workers seem the most in favour of permanent remote working with younger employees much keener to return to the office.
‘Hybrid working’, which has really becoming a more settled, post-pandemic solution, sees a mixture of office-based and home-based working and is proving to be incredibly popular. It’s believed that as many as 85% of employees currently working from home want a ‘hybrid’ approach in future(3). There’s also been research to suggest that those earning higher salaries are more in favour of continued hybrid working with 38% of workers earning £40,000 or more having worked with hybrid models between 27th April and 8th May 2022 compared to just 8% of those earning up to £15,000 over the same period(4).
THE 4 DAY WORKING WEEK
While it may not have anywhere near the same level of prevalence as remote working, the concept of the 4 day working week has just gained some significant traction. Over 60 UK companies have just taken part in a major trial of the reduced working week with 92% of participating organisations deciding to keep the new working model permanently!(5) Within the 4 day week model, employees commit to what’s become known as the “100:80:100 model” - 100% pay for 80% time, while committing to 100% productivity. The trial has shown a range of benefits including a “better work-life balance, reduced stress, increased productivity, and reduced environmental impacts”(6).
THE FUTURE & YOUR HIRING STRATEGY
These latest developments show how quickly the job market evolves. Remote and hybrid working presented a real change for employers but this has already lost its place the forefront of the latest hiring trends. Of course, these latest trends don’t mean businesses should necessarily rush towards a 4-day week or whichever trends follow after. However, businesses should embrace the fact that the range of considerations in shaping an effective, contemporary hiring strategy is both vast and constantly changing. At Netbox, our advice on hiring strategies don’t stand still either. We advise based on the specific needs of individual businesses as well as the wider hiring trends that present the best opportunities and relevance.
1, 2, 3, 4. https://thehomeofficelife.com/blog/work-from-home-statistics