Three out of four professionals in Ireland are willing to change jobs for the opportunity to work a nine-day fortnight, according to a survey conducted by recruitment firm Hays Ireland. The survey, which involved 1,597 employers and employees, also revealed that 51% of professionals would consider switching jobs for a compressed four-day working week. Hays Ireland’s managing director, Maureen Lynch, noted that the research is still in its early stages and highlighted that employees are seeking greater autonomy in terms of their working hours and location.
The concept of a four-day working week has gained traction in the past year, with the latest variant being the nine-day working fortnight. This arrangement would allow employees to have every second Friday off. While the survey indicated significant support for reduced working weeks, Lynch pointed out that both employers and employees are still grappling with how this would be implemented and which sectors would be most suitable for this new way of working. Nevertheless, she emphasized that it is positive that these questions are being raised and that traditional working practices are being challenged.
The survey also revealed that 56% of employers anticipate that their staff will be required to work in the office more frequently over the next 12 months, while 34% expect the frequency to remain the same. Only 10% of employers believe that employees will be required to be in the office less often. Incentives offered by employers to encourage employees to return to the office include paid or subsidised lunches (50% of employers), bike storage and shower facilities (48%), onsite childcare (30%), and the option to bring pets to work (25%).
Overall, the survey highlights the changing dynamics of the work environment in Ireland, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees are seeking greater flexibility and autonomy, while employers are grappling with the challenges of implementing new working arrangements. As the discussion around reduced working weeks continues, it is clear that traditional ways of working are being challenged and that a shift towards more flexible working practices may be on the horizon.