Almost 45 percent of full-time workers believe they could do their jobs in less than five hours a day if they didn’t have any interruptions, according to a new global survey.
The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated surveyed 3,000 people in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States for its study, The Case for a 4-Day Workweek? Canadians feel the strongest about having a four-day work week.
Researchers found that 75 percent of employees believe they have enough time to finish the majority of their work every day, yet 37 percent work more than 40 hours a week. An additional 71 percent said work interfered with their personal lives.
“Employees are working harder than ever and at the cost of their personal lives,”
Dan Schawbel, research director, Future Workplace, said in a statement. “This study confirms that we can all be more efficient with our workday, that there’s an opportunity to remove administrative tasks in exchange for more impactful ones, and that the traditional workweek isn’t as relevant in today’s business world.”
Twenty-eight percent of employees surveyed said they were content with a five-day workweek, while 72 percent said they would work four days a week if the pay remained the same.
Fifty-nine percent of Canadians surveyed were the biggest advocates of a four-day workweek, followed by 47 percent of Australians and 40 percent of Americans. Englishmen (16 percent), Frenchmen (17 percent), and Australians (19 percent) are the least satisfied with the five-day workweek.
Twenty-nine percent of Canadians said they would take a 20 percent pay cut to work one less day per week (versus 50 percent of Mexicans and 24 percent of Americans).
In contrast, 69 percent of Indian employees surveyed said they would still work five days a week even if they were given the option of working fewer days for the same pay.
One problem common employees face around the world is working on tasks that are not related to their jobs. Eighty-six percent of those surveyed said they lose time each day extraneous work. Forty percent said they lost more than an hour or more each day on administrative tasks that “do not drive value for their organization.”
The biggest time wasters include fixing other people’s problems, administrative tasks, meetings, checking email, and customer issues. Every generation has a different idea of what wastes their time the most. For Baby Boomers, the biggest time suck is fixing problems caused by someone else, while Gen Z said they waste the most time dealing with workplace conflict. Both Millenials and Gen Z agree meetings are a waste of time.
Nineteen percent of Canadians surveyed said they waste the most time on administrative work. While 53 percent of employees worldwide feel pressured to work more hours to advance their careers, only 38 percent of Canadians feel the same pressure.
Seventy-nine percent of workers globally feel some sort of work burnout. The top reason was “unreasonable workload” (26 per cent), followed by “not enough time in the day to get job done” (25 per cent); lack of skilled co-workers (24 percent), a negative workplace culture / toxic team (24 percent), and unfair compensation (21 percent).
“Employees need more flexibility with how, when, and where they work, and leaders should be supportive of an employee’s professional and personal life,” Schawbel noted. “When employees get time to rest, they become more productive, creative, and are healthier, meaning they take fewer sick days.”