Just five per cent of U.S. employers say they’re offering a four-day workweek as a flexible working arrangement for employees, according to a new survey by the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans.

The survey, which polled more than 300 employers, found one per cent said they’ve already formally implemented a four-day workweek or are piloting the policy, while another four per cent said they’ve rolled it out on a case-by-case basis and 14 per cent noted they’re considering it.

“As the traditional workweek saw a major upheaval with the pandemic, a few employers are implementing a four-day workweek for recruiting and retention reasons,” said Julie Stich, the IFEBP’s  vice-president of content, in a press release. “However, most employers, even if interested, are struggling to figure out how to make that a reality while trying to meet business operation goals.”

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When asked their reasons for not implementing a four-day workweek, respondents cited lack of interest by upper management (42 per cent), difficulty implementing it across their organization (38 per cent), negative impacts on business operations (36 per cent), uncertainty over whether it would work with their organizational structure (36 per cent), uncertainty over the impact on customer support (32 per cent), lack of interest by middle management and supervisors (12 per cent), administrative burden or cause administrative issues (12 per cent), waiting for feedback from organizations that have implemented it (10 per cent), costs to organization/difficulty tracking metric (eight per cent) and other reasons (six per cent). Notably, five per cent said they think it’s a fad and four per cent cited a lack of interest among employees.

The survey found employers are offering other flexible work arrangements, including allowing employees to work remotely on certain days of the week (75 per cent), flexible work hours/flex time (61 per cent), working remotely full time (50 per cent), working remotely part time (35 per cent), compressed workweeks (24 per cent), shifts (16 per cent), summer hours (14 per cent), phased retirement (nine per cent), other arrangements (four per cent) and job sharing/contract work (three per cent).

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