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News » Four-day workweek tops employee wish list – Bank of America report

Four-day workweek tops employee wish list – Bank of America report

Photo from Bank of America’s 2024 Workplace Benefits Report

NORTH CAROLINA, UNITED STATES — The four-day workweek has emerged as the most sought-after benefit among employees this year, according to Bank of America’s 2024 Workplace Benefits Report.

The survey was conducted between November 22, 2023 and January 4, 2024. It included responses from 955 employees and 804 employers across the United States.

Findings revealed that 64% of workers cited a condensed four-day schedule as their top desired workplace perk. 

The report found that 60% of respondents also emphasized the need for improved work-life balance, closely following the appeal of a four-day workweek.

Employers lag in adoption of four-day workweek

Despite employees’ clear preference, the adoption of shorter workweeks still faces resistance from employers. Only 42% of the surveyed companies indicated a willingness to offer a four-day workweek as a benefit.

“A four-day work week is the top additional benefit that employees want and also the top benefit that employers would like to offer in the next three to five years,” the report said.

“While there is agreement that this benefit is highly desired, employers as a whole are lagging behind employees in their interest in implementing it. This will be a key trend to track going forward.”

Previous studies, such as Microsoft’s 2019 trial that reported a 40% productivity boost with a four-day schedule, have provided evidence of the potential advantages of condensed workweeks. However, some managers remain hesitant to implement such changes.

Overwhelming support among young Americans

A recent CNBC/Generation Lab survey echoes this sentiment, showing that 81% of American young adults support a four-day workweek, believing it would boost productivity. 

The survey titled “Youth & Current Affairs in the USA” involved 1,033 participants and indicates a growing consensus on the benefits of reduced working hours without a pay cut.

Companies like Exos have begun experimenting with this model, noting significant reductions in employee burnout and enhanced business performance. However, preferences for work settings vary, with 60% favoring an office environment and 40% preferring to work from home.

Compensation overtakes burnout for job switches

The Bank of America report also revealed that compensation has now surpassed burnout as the primary reason for employees to consider switching jobs in 2024. 

While burnout was the top motivator in 2023, 52% of respondents cited compensation as their main incentive for seeking new employment opportunities this year.

It also highlighted persistent financial concerns among employees. Sixty-six percent of workers reported experiencing financial stress, with 76% expressing worry that their earnings would not keep pace with the rising cost of living.

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