According to the September 2022 Digital Etiquette: The Reinventing Work Report from Adaptavist, 58% of workers want the 40-hour work week to end. Also, 47% want a 4-day work week. Additionally, approximately 60% of respondents say the quality of work should be used to measure productivity rather than the number of hours worked.
This research shows how workers are shaping and adapting to their workplaces. The survey covered issues such as collaboration, communication tools, health and well-being, and the future of work for both hybrid and onsite workers.
The results indicate the changing shift from traditional workweeks to modern setups that better fit employees’ needs. This indicates that hybrid and remote work should be here to stay.
Discover why the 40-hour work week should be shortened to meet modern-day employee needs.
Changing Employee Needs
When the 40-hour work week began, most women stayed home to provide childcare, cook, clean, and run errands. Today, this concept no longer is reality.
According to an April 2022 news release from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Statistics, 70% of women who are mothers currently engage in paid work. Most of these women also handle the majority of childcare and household needs.
Working for 40 hours each week while trying to maintain a household puts unreasonable stress on employees. This increases the odds of employee burnout. As a result, the 40-hour work week must change to accommodate the changing needs of the workforce.
Increasing Employee Burnout
A 2021 joint report from McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.org showed that 42% of women and 32% of men were experiencing burnout. Although many employers recognize growing employee exhaustion and overwhelm, the issue of burnout continues to worsen.
A significant source of employee exhaustion is the drastic changes in sleep patterns resulting from chronic stress due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many employees are staying up later to take time for themselves. This interferes with the ability to get productive sleep.
Another source of employee exhaustion is mothers who put in increasing hours of both paid and unpaid work each week. Lacking time for necessary self-care and sleep increases feelings of overwhelm and depletion.
As a result, burnt-out employees tend to feel less empowered, be less productive, and not perform their best at work as compared to other employees. They also have lower odds of being promoted.
Leaving behind the 40-hour work week would give employees more time to take care of their personal needs. This would increase employee engagement, productivity, and performance.
Reducing the weekly number of hours worked also would elevate employees who are mothers into more senior roles. This is especially important for companies that have few women in leadership positions.
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