Four day week would mean longer days, according to majority of workers

An image of four clocks to illustrate the four day weekThe majority of workers would expect a four-day week to consist of longer working hours with one in seven stating that up to 10 hours per day would be reasonable. According to a new poll from among 1,325 respondents, workers believe that a shortened working week would enable them to achieve better wellbeing and mental health.

Over half (54 percent) believe that a four-day week should consist of a minimum of 8.25 hours per day, whilst a third (33 percent) would expect to work 36 hours – averaging 9 hours per day. Nearly one in seven respondents stated that 10 hours per day would be reasonable.

According to the latest ONS data the average number of hours currently worked in a week for full time workers is 36.4 (averaging 7.28 hours per day). 1,325 UK adults were surveyed by YouGov, on behalf of, to discover the UK workforce’s attitudes on the four-day week.

[perfectpullquote align=”right” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Two thirds said they would be unwilling to take a pay cut to work a four-day week[/perfectpullquote]

The main reasons respondents stated they would support a four-day week were to improve their work life balance and wellbeing, by enabling more time for leisure and rest.82 percent believe that a shorter working week would enable better work life balance, while 55 percent believe it would lead to improved wellbeing and 48 percent to reduced stress.71 percent said this would be achieved because they would have more time for leisure and rest, whilst one-third stated that more time for childcare or family caregiving would be beneficial.

However, 64 percent said they would be unwilling to take a pay cut to work a four-day week at a time when the cost-of-living is at its highest. Indeed, the top work benefit, cited by 76 percent, was an annual salary increase, followed by more vacation days (53 percent) and the flexibility to work when you want (52 percent).

The issue of a shortened working week is one of the most discussed workplace issues of our time, with a large scale UK pilot set to run till November 2022.