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Global firms test four-day workweek | Gen Z preferences drive pilot programs

Gen Z preferences

As the demand for a four-day work week rises among Gen-Z and millennial employees, companies worldwide are exploring pilot programs to implement this shorter work schedule. According to a 2023 Bankrate survey, approximately 83% of workers aged 18 to 42 express support for a four-day work week. However, ADP data reveals that only 12% of U.S. workers report having the option available at their workplaces.

What the survey says

Bankrate analyst Sarah Foster notes that younger Americans are more willing to make sacrifices for a four-day work week compared to older generations. Some of these sacrifices include working longer hours, changing jobs or companies, and giving up remote work. About 13% of respondents even express a willingness to take a pay cut in exchange for a shorter work week.

Four Day Week Global, led by researcher Juliet Schor, is currently running trials globally, including in the U.S., where companies offer four-day work weeks without pay cuts or increased hours. Schor emphasizes the success of these trials, with a remarkable 95% of companies choosing to continue with the four-day schedule after the pilot period. The trials show significant improvements in various well-being measures, including reduced burnout and stress, enhanced positive emotions, and increased life satisfaction.

Notably, bills in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania propose four-day work week pilot programs that incentivize companies through tax cuts. These programs aim to collect essential data to support strategic implementation by other employers in the future. Schor predicts a rapid growth in the number of U.S. companies adopting the four-day work week in the coming years.

A change in the offing?

As the landscape of work evolves, the shift towards a four-day work week reflects a changing paradigm in employee preferences and well-being, with potential benefits for both workers and employers. The ongoing trials and legislative initiatives signal a broader societal exploration of alternative work structures to meet the needs of the modern workforce.

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