POLL: S’poreans prefer flexible work arrangements over a 4-day workweek, though many admit an extra day of rest would benefit their mental health

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A new survey finds that nearly two-thirds of workers prefer flexible working arrangements over a four-day work week. The more than 1,000 employees surveyed come from a variety of industries, from information technology (IT) to retail.

The online survey by US company Qualtrics, conducted last month, found that respondents were concerned about the long working hours that a four-day work week would entail. However, many of the respondents acknowledged that an extra day of rest during the week would be beneficial for their mental health.

The survey found that 64 percent of full-time workers surveyed said they prefer flexibility over a four-day work week.

Interestingly, flexibility is a greater reason for retention (66 percent) than working one day less (50 percent).

Hesitation about the four-day workweek seems to stem from the following reasons: 78 percent of respondents said they expected to work more hours if such an arrangement were introduced, while 62 percent were concerned that customers would be frustrated by a shorter work week.

However, 86 percent of workers said one work day would be less beneficial for their mental health, while 89 percent said these types of arrangements could improve work-life balance.

In addition, 87 percent also said the shorter week would make them more loyal to their employers.

But again, more than half of respondents (55 percent) said they think there will be a dip in business performance if a four-day workweek is followed.

When it comes to flexibility, a third of respondents defined it as being in control of their working hours, while 26 percent said it means they can work anywhere, and 19 percent said they can choose their work days.

The poll also found that 70 percent of respondents said their job is the top source of the mental health problems they face.

When asked whether working remotely affects their mental health, 24 percent said it has a positive effect, while 22 percent said it has a negative effect on their mental health.

In addition, while many respondents said they preferred flexibility with work, a significant number (70 percent) also said they believed it would negatively impact career progression.

Ms Lauren Huntington, the Employee Experience Solution Strategist – Southeast Asia, Qualtrics, said: “Among the buzz around new work models, employers must not lose sight of the fact that what employees really want and have become accustomed to is the flexibility to adapt their work work schedules that fit the demands of their lives.

Increasingly, we see people making career decisions and finding job satisfaction working for organizations that truly understand, respond to their needs, and feel they belong. That’s why the most important part of any work model isn’t just the hours or days worked – it’s being able to understand and meaningfully deliver what people want and expect to ensure everyone benefits from ongoing transformations.”

/ TISG

Netizens weigh in on the possibility of a 4-day workweek in Singapore

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