Trends pass quickly these days, even in the corporate world. Less popular than just a month ago: the four-day week.
Flexa Careers, a job directory for flexible positions, analyzed more than 36,000 user searches on its site to uncover the top priorities of job seekers. He found that they had lost some interest in “compressed hours”, defined as the distribution of the same number of working hours over fewer days.
From June to July, the number of job seekers seeking a shortened work week fell by 20%. To be fair, this follows a 14% rise in June, when Britain’s new trial of the four-day working week sparked increased interest in compressed working hours.
But less demand for a flexible workweek doesn’t mean flexibility isn’t always a priority for applicants around the world. Rather, employees have realized that they don’t need to reinvent the wheel if they take advantage of flexible hours while working remotely.
As companies offer more flexibility in when their employees work, workers are less eager for compressed hours, says Molly Johnson-Jones, CEO of Flexa Careers. Fortune.
“More companies are allowing staff to set their own hours or giving them complete freedom outside of ‘core’ hours when everyone needs to be online,” says Johnson-Jones. “It means people find work rhythms that work for them, reducing the need to seek out a formal compressed hours structure.”
People still like a four-day work week, though.
As employees clamored for a shorter workweek over the past two years, the number of employers offering a four-day schedule has doubled since 2020, according to Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, program director at a nonprofit organization lucrative 4 Day Week Global, in May.
The first results of the four-day working week trial in the UK have started to come out, revealing that despite some organizational problems, many workers appreciated the new work-life balance that the compressed schedule offered.
But with 95% of knowledge workers wanting flexibility, CEOs have begun to recognize that the workweek will never be the same if they want to compete for new talent.
“For us, the nine-to-five was on life support before the pandemic,” said Steve Pickle, executive vice president of employee success operations at Salesforce. Fortune in March. “The pandemic took him out of life support and put him straight into the grave. It’s still dead, and we’re in a much better place.
The company has since adopted schedules in which employees are not required to come into the office all week or work a specific eight-hour day.
JC Penney CEO Marc Rosen also noticed the increased need for flexibility in the store’s fulfillment centers and mentioned that the company was looking for options to swap last-minute schedules. “Flexibility is key right now,” he said during a Fortune CEO Roundtable sponsored by McKinsey last month.
As workers gain the upper hand by dictating their own hours over a five-day work week, compressed hours may not matter as much.
Sign up for the Makeshift Features mailing list so you don’t miss our biggest features, exclusive interviews and surveys.