There’s reportedly a growing trend among U.S. workers, particularly within the younger generations such as Gen Z and Millennials, who are advocating for a shift to a four-day workweek. This preference is backed by over 75% of U.S. workers who believe they could complete their current workload in four days instead of the traditional five, as per a report from Fiverr, an online marketplace for freelance services.
According to a recent article by Ece Yildirim for CNBC’s Make It, the survey conducted by Fiverr, which gathered insights from over 1,000 global workers in August, highlighted not only the demand for a shorter workweek but also revealed a generational divide in workplace preferences. Millennials, who currently constitute about 35% of the workforce, are the most supportive of the four-day workweek, with an overwhelming 87% in favor, the article notes.
Despite the apparent enthusiasm for a reduced workweek, Make It points out that U.S. companies have been slow to adopt this trend, which has gained more traction internationally, and that EY’s annual Workplace Index suggests that there’s a significant discrepancy between employee desires and employer offerings in this regard.
Fiverr’s senior director of market research and customer insights, Michal Miller Levi, conveyed to CNBC’s Make It that the average U.S. worker reports being productive for about 31 hours a week, which aligns more closely with a four-day workweek. For Gen Z workers, this figure drops to 29 hours. Miller Levi interprets this not as a sign of laziness but as an indication of a shift in workplace values. She says that workers are increasingly seeking to be evaluated on their output and business results rather than the number of hours they clock in.
The article by Make It further explores the value placed on work flexibility, with over two-fifths of American workers feeling most productive outside the standard 9-to-5 hours. Flexjobs’ survey findings are cited, showing that 21% of workers consider inflexible work hours a primary reason for wanting to leave their jobs.
The article also mentions that Gen Z, in particular, values flexibility, with nearly a third feeling more creative outside traditional work hours. However, this preference for flexibility does not necessarily translate to a desire for remote work. Make It reports that while Baby Boomers show the highest preference for remote work, Gen Z workers prefer in-person interactions, though not necessarily within an office setting. It goes on to say that many Gen Z workers enjoy working in public spaces like coffee shops, which allow for social interaction while maintaining flexibility.