Job postings that advertise a 4-day workweek have grown steadily in recent years but still remain low overall, rising from 0.1% in September 2019 to nearly 0.3% in September 2023, according to an Oct. 30 report from Indeed’s Hiring Lab.
Interestingly, the increase in postings has occurred among in-person sectors rather than remote-friendly industries. The bulk of advertisements with a 4-day workweek has been in veterinary services, dentistry and manufacturing, where many striking workers have demanded shorter workweeks.
“A 4-day workweek may be gaining popularity, but it has a long way to go before becoming the norm,” wrote Allison Shrivastava and Nick Bunker, economists with the Indeed Hiring Lab.
“Time will tell if this remains a rare benefit offered for some in-person roles in order to stay competitive or becomes an expectation for job seekers and/or a more common demand in union negotiations,” they wrote. “But for office workers in particular, a standardized 4-day workweek is a long way off.”
Job postings that mention a 4-day workweek are increasing most in the veterinary services sector, with the share of advertisements growing by 1.39 percentage points during the past four years. After that, dentistry is up 0.9 percentage points, followed by industrial engineering, driving and architecture, which are up by about 0.3 percentage points.
Job postings in manufacturing and production that advertise a 4-day workweek have increased by 40% since September 2019, yet that only represents an increase in level terms from 0.5% to 0.7%. Leaders of the United Auto Workers have demanded a 4-day workweek as part of their contract negotiations and strike against the country’s Big Three automakers.
“While it’s difficult to tell if 4-day workweek opportunities for manufacturing workers will continue to grow, it is currently a topic of lively discussion,” Shrivastava and Bunker wrote.
About 80% of office workers have said they’d be more productive if they had a 4-day workweek, according to a report from ResumeBuilder.com. In addition, about three-quarters said they would switch jobs and one-third said they would take a pay cut if they were offered a 4-day schedule.
In a six-month pilot program with reduced workweek schedules, 91% of 60 participating companies said they plan to continue a 4-day workweek, according to a recent update from 4 Day Week Global. During the pilot, companies reported 35% year-over-year increases in revenue, increased hiring and decreased absenteeism.
At the same time, a 4-day schedule may not work well for all workers. O.C. Tanner, an employee recognition company, wanted to offer schedule flexibility to its deskless factory workers alongside its desked workers. Although the experiment didn’t ultimately work, leaders said they learned about their business and showed workers that they listened and cared.