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Quarter of workers would accept pay cut for four-day working week

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19/05/2021
One in four employees (25%) would accept a wage cut of as much as 20% if they could move to a four-day working week.

That’s the result of a new study by office designers MoreySmith, which polled workers on their revised expectations for work following the changes to our working habits brought about by the pandemic.

Just 14% said they were opposed to the possibility of switching to a four-day week, with more than two-thirds (70%) in favour of such a move.

The poll also suggested that the traditional nine-to-five may become a thing of the past, with two-thirds of staff saying that flexible start times will be an important factor in their decision to return to the office. 

There are also changing expectations around what employers will need to offer. More than one in three (35%) want secure bike facilities and showers on site, while one in five (19%) want the option of bringing pets to work.

Linda Morey-Burrows, founder and principal director of MoreySmith, said that while younger people were more keen on a return to the workplace, and the more social working environment it brings, those with long commuters or young families are more reluctant to move away from home working.

She continued: “As this polling demonstrates, it’s essential that workspaces are designed to encourage and stimulate this return to work. Offices must be designed to cater for the new world with flexibility, comfort, outside spaces and sociability in mind.”

Green shoots for jobs

The jobs market appears to be in improving health as the economy recovers from the pandemic. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that unemployment dropped to 4.8% in the first quarter of 2021, 0.3% lower than in the previous three months. There has also been an increase in listed job vacancies.

There remain concerns over possible divides over who is most at risk of job losses though. Analysis by the TUC found that unemployment among BAME workers is rising at three times the rate as that of white workers.

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