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Lot of Workers Now Logging Off by 4 PM on Fridays, Survey Finds

Studies show that a four-day workweek, maintaining benefits and pay while reducing workdays, can lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction.
Cover Image Source: Employees working together in an office (representative image) | Fauxels | Pexels
Cover Image Source: Employees working together in an office (representative image) | Fauxels | Pexels

Working smarter, not harder, is becoming the norm in today's shifting economy. Remote work, and digital nomadism are examples of different work arrangements that are growing in popularity. Technology has made it possible to operate more productively in various ways. It's up to each person to decide which of the various possibilities is best for them. The four-day workweek, in which workers put in more hours each day for four days instead of five, is an intriguing experiment. This enables them to remain productive and take three days off each week.

Cover Image Source: Woman Working on a Laptop | George Milton | Pexels
Woman working on a laptop | George Milton | Pexels

Although there hasn't been much discussion about four-day workweeks since the pandemic, there is a discernible pattern of American employees wrapping up early on Fridays. Workplace analytics company ActivTrak examined when over 75,000 employees from 816 organizations signed off from work. They discovered that Friday sign-off hours have advanced from approximately 5 pm at the start of 2021 to approximately 4 pm at this point.

Throughout the rest of the week, people are also logging off earlier, with Mondays to Thursdays seeing an average sign-off time of around 5 pm. This could be because more workers are returning to offices and leaving work earlier to commute home, rather than letting remote work drag into the evening. Whether people work from home or in offices, productivity tends to decline on Fridays, particularly in the afternoon, according to Texas A&M research.

Some businesses have responded to this by experimenting with various approaches to increase productivity on Fridays. This involves enforcing meeting bans or permitting employees to take half-days, with the assumption that providing an incentive will increase their focus in the mornings. For most businesses that have allowed workers to return to the office, hybrid work has become the standard, and Fridays are frequently the busiest days. Even those who work remotely don't wait until Friday at the end of the workday to begin their weekend activities. Weekend getaways frequently last three or four days rather than simply two since more people are departing earlier.

Image Source: Photo by fauxels | Pexels
Employees are wrapping work earlier on Fridays (representative image0 | Photo by fauxels | Pexels

Post-pandemic shifts and rethinking work-life balance

According to the Anatomy of Work survey by Asana in 2022, a staggering 63% of knowledge workers reported experiencing burnout in the past year. Younger generations are more likely to experience burnout than older generations, with a staggering 74% of millennials and 84% of Gen Z expressing support for the idea of ​​a four-day work week Even though society and the workplace have restored some equilibrium, the rise in job burnout and anxiety has forced us to look for ways to work towards improving the well-being of all employees.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only increased workplace burnout but has also raised the question of how we approach work and what employees expect from their employers. The demand for flexible working arrangements has increased since the outbreak along with a greater work-life balance among employees.

According to the 2022 Global Talent Trends study by LinkedIn, employees are giving work-life balance a higher priority than salary when considering a new job offer. In addition to creating a work-life balance for employees, the concept of a four-day workweek has benefits for the businesses they work for.