One in Four Employees Would Accept Pay Cut for a Four Day Working Week

  • One in four British employees want a four-day working week to become the norm, even if it means a pay cut
  • Death of the 9-5? Two in three want flexible start times if they are to stop working from home
  • One month until June 21st office return for millions
  • “Workspaces must be designed to reflect these changing habits” says leading office designer

A NEW POLL has revealed that one in four employees (25%) would move to a four-day working week even if their wages were reduced by one fifth.

The survey of 1017 UK adults (in full or part time work), commissioned by leading office designers MoreySmith, asked the public about their new expectations of work, following 14 months of Covid restrictions and working from home.

Of the respondents who said the question applied to them, seven in ten (70%) said they were in favour of switching to a four-day week on the same pay, with only 14% against it.  

The poll comes exactly one month (21st June) before many workers are expected to return to the office as vaccine rollouts ease the stipulations on people to work from home.

According to Linda Morey-Burrows, Founder and Principal Director of MoreySmith: “Many companies want employees to return to the office from June 21st to reinstate a sense of identity and common single purpose. 

“We are finding that whilst many young people are desperate to return to the workplace for a better, more social working environment, employees with a long commute and young children are often more reluctant to stop working from home. 

“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.”

“I think these results are a snapshot of opinion today and it’s important that we take a measured response and continue to look forward and create spaces people love to be in.”

The findings of the MoreySmith poll suggest that the nine-to-five may become a thing of the past as two thirds (66%) of employees said flexible start times will be an important factor in their decision to return to the office. 

The trends of increased bike and pet ownership were reflected in the results as over one in three employees (35%) said they wanted secure bike facilities and showers on-site, while one in five (19%) pet owners said that bringing their animal to work would be an important factor in deciding whether to stop working from home. 

Wellbeing has become another key consideration for employees, with almost half (43%) of people saying they want access to mental health facilities on-site. A further 44% of people said that access to outdoor terraces and gardens is an important consideration in their decision to return to the physical workspace.

The MoreySmith poll has expanded on research conducted by MoreySmith in The New Normal report, that examined employee attitudes to the new ways of working at the start of lockdown in March 2020. 

Interior design and architecture practice MoreySmith has been creating spaces that reflect changing employee needs throughout the pandemic with the poll finding that half of employees (49%) want space for socialising and one in five (20%) are looking for excellent on-site entertainment facilities.

The survey also found that two thirds of employees (67%) want Covid havens (offices that guarantee hygiene so there’s no need for Covid restrictions once on-site) when returning to the office.

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