60% of respondents believe the emphasis should be on the quality of work rather than the quantity of hours put in, signaling a need for change in how we value work.
More than half of workers want to do away with the 40-hour work week, according to a global poll conducted by business software and services supplier Adaptavist.
58% of workers polled want to work less hours a week, and nearly half (47%) think a four-day work week would be the most convenient alternative. Additionally, more than one-quarter of respondents (28%) stated that their employer already provides a four-day work week option.
The research, gathered from respondents in Canada, UK and US, found that the majority of employees prefer to have their productivity determined by results rather than the number of hours they spend working.
The purpose of the study was to learn more about how employees are adjusting to their new workplaces post-pandemic, and sought opinions on a variety of topics, including hybrid vs office work, productivity, isolation, and communication tools, as well as health and wellbeing and the future of work.
Last year, research company Gartner forecasted that 31% of all employees globally would be remote in 2022, either partially or entirely.
However, the latest study by Adaptavist revealed that 43% of respondents were working mostly or entirely remotely, and an even larger percentage (59%) wanted more control over their working environment, their workweek, and how productivity was assessed.
Researchers also polled workers about the collaboration platforms that employees could not function without, in addition to where and how people carry out their duties. Microsoft Teams was chosen by more than half of respondents (54%), ahead of Zoom (46%) and Slack (12%).
Even while communication apps have advanced significantly over the past two years, “tool fatigue” is still a problem that leads to lost time and a sense of invisibility online.
The study found that more than one-third of respondents stated they were too occupied with their job to communicate with their coworkers. As a result, nearly 90% of employees cited face-to-face interaction as crucial, if not essential, and identified it as the main motivation for returning to work full-time.
More than half of respondents who were asked how much time they waste searching for work-related information (such as browsing through emails, chat discussions, and stored documents), said at least 30 minutes. While, 17% of respondents claimed to spend up to two hours.
The Adaptavist study also discovered that although workers desire more flexibility and control over their workdays, hybrid and remote work has a price in the shape of isolation, loneliness, and heavier workloads. Asynchronous workers — those who aren’t in real-time communication with bosses and co-workers — are the most affected (39%), with about 30% of respondents reporting that they feel lonely every day.
Meanwhile, researchers from Cambridge, Boston College, and Oxford are supporting the largest four-day work week experiment to date in the UK.
Some 3,300 employees from 70 different organisations were tracked for the study; all of whom are receiving the same pay and are required to work the same number of hours as they did when they worked five days a week.
During the six-month experiment, participants work 32 hours over four days as opposed to the usual 40 hours over five days.
According to Juliet Schor, Professor of Sociology at Boston College and one of the study administrators, the employees receive five days’ salary for four days of work.