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.
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.
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.