CXO

Why a 5-day workweek is a waste of time and money for big companies

One-third of employees said they would take a 20% pay cut to work one day less per week, according to a new report.

Employees don't need the five-day workweek, according to a Monday report from the Workforce Institute at Kronos and Future Workplace. Nearly half (45%) of full-time workers said it takes less than five hours a day to do their job if they work uninterrupted, while 72% said they could work four days or less per week if their pay remained constant.

Some 86% of the nearly 3,000 employees surveyed across eight countries said they lose time each day on work-specific tasks unrelated to their core job, with 41% of employees reporting that they waste more than an hour per day on extraneous tasks. Another 40% of employees said they lose more than an hour every day on administrative tasks that do not drive value for their organization, the report found.

When asked what tasks full-time employees waste the most time on each day, 22% said "fixing problems not caused by me," and 17% said administrative work, according to the report. Meetings (12%), email (11%), and customer issues (11%) also made the list of top five time-wasting tasks.

SEE: IT jobs 2018: Hiring priorities, growth areas, and strategies to fill open roles (Tech Pro Research)

Many employees would accept a lower salary to change to a four-day week schedule, the report found: One-third of full-time workers surveyed said they would take a 20% pay cut to work one day less per week. However, those numbers varied greatly by country: 50% of workers in Mexico said this, compared to 42% in France, and 24% in the US.

Despite employees reporting that they could do their job in four days per week instead of five, many workers still work overtime, the report found. Some 37% of employees work more than 40 hours per week. While 71% of employees said they accomplish what they want to at work almost every day, 79% said they suffer from at least some work burnout.

"Organizations must help their people eliminate distractions, inefficiencies, and administrative work to enable them to work at full capacity," Joyce Maroney, executive director, The Workforce Institute at Kronos, said in a press release. "This will create more time to innovate, collaborate, develop skills and relationships, and serve customers while opening the door to creative scheduling options, including the coveted four-day workweek."

To learn more about how to manage job burnout, click here.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • 45% of full-time workers said it takes less than five hours a day to do their job if they work uninterrupted. — The Workforce Institute at Kronos and Future Workplace, 2018
  • 86% of employees said they lose time each day on work-specific tasks unrelated to their core job. — The Workforce Institute at Kronos and Future Workplace, 2018

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/thomasandreas

About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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