Nov 1, 2023 - Economy & Business

Four-day workweek on the rise for in-person jobs

Data: Indeed; Chart: Axios Visuals

Four-day workweeks are far from becoming the norm, but a pattern seems to be emerging.

State of play: According to research out this week from jobs platform Indeed, employers in sectors where workers have to be in person are more commonly advertising shortened weeks in job postings compared to those with fewer remote and hybrid options.

  • For example, 2.7% of dental job postings throughout September 2023 mentioned one or more variations of keywords related to "4-day workweek."
  • The other four sectors with the highest share of job postings advertising four-day workweeks were: veterinary, physicians and surgeons, production and manufacturing, and driving.
  • On the flip side, just 0.2% of both software and IT job listings mention the benefit, and did not make it to the top five.

Zoom out: Shorter weeks have started to creep into recruiting strategies for smaller businesses that can't compete against giant corporate pay packages, Axios has previously reported.

  • The UAW also put four-day workweeks back into the spotlight this fall as the union fought for better pay and benefits.
  • The fact that the ask was on the table is yet another indicator of how work culture has shifted radically in the U.S. over the past few years, Axios Markets' Emily Peck has written.

Our thought bubble: Although the share of job postings advertising a four-day workweek has roughly tripled in four years — from 0.1% in September 2019 to nearly 0.3% in September 2023 — we're still far from the trend catching fire.

  • At the same time, talking and writing about emerging trends is how many grow until we reach a tipping point.
  • How the health care sector responds to these early data points will be worth watching. Results from one of the largest four-day workweek trials reveal how workers have benefitted in areas of stress and burnout — a critical issue that health care workers want solved.

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