A new survey report from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans reveals the flexible work arrangements offered by companies across the United States. Key findings from Four-Day Workweek: 2023 Survey Results include the type of non-traditional schedules offered, and reasons for and challenges of implementing four-day workweek schedules.

Four-Day Workweek

Five percent of employers are offering a four-day workweek, either as a formal policy or on a case-by-case basis. The survey defined a four-day workweek as decreasing the required weekly work hours from 40 to 32 hours. One percent of employers are in the process of piloting a four-day schedule, and an additional 14% of employers are considering implementation. Compressed workweeks, defined as working 40-hours in less than five days, are offered by 24%.

Employers cited the following reasons for implementing a four-day, 32-hour workweek:

  • Request by employees—41%
  • Retention strategy—36%
  • Work-life balance / rethinking company culture—36%
  • Recruitment strategy—27%.

While some respondents have implemented a four-day workweek company-wide, many offer it only for certain job functions, specific employee levels or in certain locations.

Challenges

Employers that do not offer four-day workweeks indicated the following reasons and concerns:

  • Lack of interest by upper management—42%
  • Difficulty implementing it organization-wide—38%
  • Negative impact on business operations—36%
  • Unsure if it would work with organization structure—36%
  • Unable to support customer base—32%.

When discussing flexible workweeks with Julie Stich, CEBS, Vice President of Content at the International Foundation, she said that as the traditional work week saw a major upheaval with the pandemic, a few employers are implementing a four-day workweek for recruiting and retention reasons. However, most employers, even if interested, are struggling to figure out how to make that a reality while trying to meet business operation goals.

Flexible Work Arrangements

In the aftermath of the pandemic, flexible work schedules remain common. Employers are offering several non-traditional schedule options, with one or more remote work options being the most common. Overall, 88% of respondents offer some type of remote option (fully remote and/or hybrid).  

Flexible work arrangements offered include:

  • Working remotely on certain days of the week (hybrid)—75%
  • Flexible work hours—61%
  • Working remotely full-time—50%
  • Part-time schedule—35%
  • Compressed workweeks—24%.

For more information and to view full survey results, visit www.ifebp.org/fourdayweek.

Cara McMullin

Communications Specialist

Favorite Foundation Product: Word on Benefits Blog

Benefits-related Topics That Interest Her Most: Equity and Inclusion, Workplace Wellness

Personal Insight: Cara loves live theatre, concerts, and festivals – lots of fantastic options in Wisconsin. In her spare time, you can also find her reading, streaming TV/movies and spending time with family and friends at local restaurants, outdoor concerts, and farmers markets.

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