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53% of professionals tempted to move to firm with four-day working week – survey

Some 53% of professionals in Scotland would be tempted to move to a company which offers a four-day week, a survey has suggested (Philip Toscano/PA)
Some 53% of professionals in Scotland would be tempted to move to a company which offers a four-day week, a survey has suggested (Philip Toscano/PA)

Just over half of Scotland’s white-collar workers would be tempted to move to a firm which offered a four-day week, a new survey has suggested.

According to Hayes Scotland’s latest Quarterly Insights Survey, 53% of professionals north of the border would move to a company which offered a four-day week, and almost a third believed this would become a reality within two to five years.

But in bad news for workers wanting a permanent long weekend, 63% of companies told the survey of 659 Scottish businesses they were not even considering the shorter working week.

Keith Mason, director of Hayes Scotland, said firms had to make sure a four-day week was sustainable (Hayes Scotland)

Only 26% of employers thought it would become a reality in that time, and only 2% of firms have introduced the shorter week, while another 2% were trialling it, the survey said.

Keith Mason, director of Hays Scotland, said companies were “getting more creative in what they can offer prospective staff when trying to recruit in a competitive market” but warned before making the leap firms should be “certain that it’s a sustainable model for maintaining productivity in the longer term”.

“In the meantime, they need to be sure to get the basics right such as offering competitive salaries, along with flexible and hybrid working,” he said.

“We know there are a few companies in Scotland offering a four-day week, and whilst this might be seen as an attractive offering, there are many other ways for companies to stand out from the crowd.

“Actions such as having a strong purpose and offering staff the opportunity to take volunteer days is attractive, as is introducing wellbeing days.

“However, all of these additional aspects only work and will only be attractive if employers get the basics right first.”

Thousands of workers from 60 companies across the United Kingdom are trialling the four-day week from next month until December.

The main reason cited by both employers and employees in Scotland for adopting the four-day week was to benefit mental health, while “organisational productivity” was cited by 12% of workers while 13% of companies said it would help attract talent.

Some 38% of businesses said the four-day working week would never happen, and 23% said they would not consider it due to the nature of their organisation.