Amid a tight labor market and record job turnover, some employers are hoping to lure back workers by offering weeklong paid vacations, summer Fridays, paid sabbaticals and extra paid time off – but perhaps the most popular option has been the prospect of a four-day workweek.

Remote work for office-based jobs, due to Covid, has forced companies to rethink when they want their employees at the office. That arrangement often led to longer hours and “burn out”, contributing to the high job turnover, recently referred to as the Great Resignation. A record 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in August, according to federal data, almost 3% of the workforce. In New York state, 3.2% of workers quit. A survey of nearly 600 human resources managers by research firm Gartner found that 91% of them were concerned about high employee turnover.

Four-day workweeks now apply to only a tiny slice of the workforce, mainly in the technology industry, and it might not fit many jobs. But its popularity could grow as employers grapple with increased demand for workplace flexibility. A study in Iceland this summer added more momentum to the idea. A four-year pilot program involving 2,500 workers across a range of professions found that workers on a four-day schedule felt less stress, and companies noticed productivity largely increased.

Source: Crain’s New York Business

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