D3 days off, 4 days work. What has been tested in Great Britain in a pilot project since June is also what more and more people in this country want. Almost 63 percent of Germans would welcome the concept of a four-day week with full wage compensation, 14 percent also without compensation. In such models, there is usually no less work, but the working hours are simply distributed differently, resulting in another day of the week that can be used entirely for leisure activities. The finding comes from a representative survey by the opinion research company Yougov on behalf of the insurer HDI. 3891 employees were questioned, the results were available to the FAZ in advance.
The results show: the trend is towards more free time. Both the four-day week and part-time work models are gaining in popularity. 13.7 percent of those in employment would even accept not receiving full wage compensation if they switched to a four-day week. In industry and manufacturing, one in four (24 percent) would agree.
“Co-determine where, when and how long you work”
The approval of employees who are younger than 40 years is particularly clear. 83 percent of those surveyed in this age group are positive about a four-day week – 17 percent would also come to terms with financial losses. 51 percent would accept an offer to work part-time.
The entire study reflects the fact that young professionals doubt the previously customary five-day week with face-to-face work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The pandemic has left clear traces: when asked about mobile working, 48 percent of those under 40 agree with the statement that this form of work improves the quality of the work results. Among the over 40-year-olds it is 33 percent.
“They want to have a say in where, when and how long they work,” says HDI CEO Christopher Lohmann, summarizing the findings of the young generation of workers. “Their ideas deviate significantly from the traditional working models. The Corona experiences have apparently strongly promoted these attitudes.”
There have long been signs that free time and the balance between work and private life have become more relevant for employees and that the importance of the workplace has decreased. There has recently been huge interest in phenomena such as “quiet quitting” on social media. Employees decide not to do more than what is required of their work. The hashtag #antiwork was also very successful recently, under which people gathered who want to live their lives free of work and encouraged each other in their plans to quit.
In the study, 56 percent of 15- to 25-year-olds said they would be willing to stop working if they had enough money. In the same age group, only 55 percent stated that their job means a lot to them – a decrease; in the previous year it was still 60 percent. The fact that they define themselves much less often through their work does not only apply to the younger ones. Overall, more than half of the respondents confirmed that they would stop working if it were not financially necessary.