Have your say: Do you support a four-day working week?

·Freelance Writer
·2-min read

Brits could eventually see the five-day working week cut to four days, following a year of home working during the pandemic.

Flexible working has become the norm since March last year after the government advised people to work at home in an attempt to stop any spread of coronavirus.

But while a return to normality is expected when social distancing regulations are eventually scrapped, an end to traditional working hours may be a consequence of offices being set up in living rooms.

A Survation poll recently found that nearly two-thirds of people (64%) supported the idea of cutting work days from five to four, while the chairman of the government's Flexible Working Taskforce said there was a “generational opportunity” to change how we work.

Peter Cheese told the Politico website that flexible working would eventually be seen as “a norm, not an exception”.

He said: “What we refer to as the standard five-day working week, that's what will begin to change.

Watch: People working from home in UK more than doubled during pandemic

“And it could emerge in lots of different forms, one of which could be a four-day working week.”

He added: “I think if we can really make some of these things work for us, if we can really make technology enable a better balance of work, and all those other things help us all, then maybe we will see more of those sorts of things being adopted.”

The government is looking into whether flexible working could become a default option, stopping short of introducing legislation that would make it a legal right.

The prime minister’s official spokesman said: “We’ve asked people to work from home where they can during the pandemic but there are no plans to make this permanent or introduce a legal right to work from home.

“There are no plans to make working from home the default or introducing a legal right to work from home.”

Father multi-tasking with young son (2 yrs) at kitchen table
Working from home has become the norm during the coronavirus pandemic. (Getty/stock photo)

But he added: “What we’re consulting on is making flexible working a default option, unless employers have good reasons not to.”

He defined flexible working as “a range of working arrangements around time, place and hours of work including part-time working, flexi-time or compressed hours”, but not necessarily working from home.

Read more: Tech companies are looking at more flexible work models when offices reopen

Watch: Is it time for the four-day work week?