How would you spend your extra time at work - and away from it?
What would you do with more time?
For 72% of workers in eight countries, they would spend more hours with loved ones and looking after their health if they were given a four-day workweek.
In a study by The Workforce Institute at Kronos, respondents from eight countries, including Australia, Canada, the UK and the US, said they would allocate their downtime to:
- Family (44%)
- Travel (43%)
- Exercise (33%)
- Friends (30%)
- Hobbies (29%)
Other workers said they preferred to kick back and relax, catching up on sleep (27%) and focusing on improving their mental health (22%).
Extra time at work
While only a handful of organisations have experimented with implementing a shorter workweek, the majority of respondents (62%) reported their current job allowed for some flexibility so they could enjoy better work-life balance.
On the other hand, employees across demographics said they would prioritise developing new skills if they were given more time at work.
HR managers, in particular, would also like to spend more hours training employees, building rapport with their team, and coaching or mentoring them.
Workers in Australia, the UK and the US also reported a desire to allot more time to catching up on work. In France, however, one in four workers would likely spend their extra time job hunting.
“While the vast majority of workers say work interferes with their personal lives, it’s clear that people want to do meaningful work and want to do well by their employers,” said Joyce Maroney, executive director of The Workforce Institute.
“It’s the employer’s responsibility not only to provide workers with the tools, processes, and resources to optimise their time at work, but also to empower employees to best manage work-life harmony.”
Maroney recommends establishing the following:
- Clear and specific time-off policies
- Creative and self-service scheduling solutions
- Employee benefits to help relax and refuel
- Open communication between the company, employees, and people managers