- A four-day week, better work life balance and more flexible working opportunities are the top factors that would encourage almost two thirds of Brits (65%) to take a salary cut
- Flexible hours are a top sign of a progressive company according to the survey of 5,000 UK workers
- 30% believe the four-day work week will be the norm, while 31% say they could already achieve in four days what they accomplish in five
- Fully remote workers are the least satisfied with their jobs, with almost 2 in 10 (17%) believing that their work isn’t “good”
Two thirds (65%) of UK workers would be prepared to take a pay cut for an overall better job according to research by the global hiring platform Indeed.
A survey of over 5,000 workers for its Better Work 2023 report found a desire for greater flexibility and less time at work is driving this trend, with a four-day work week (28%), a better work life balance (25%) and more flexible working opportunities (17%) the most likely factors to encourage Brits to take a pay cut.
The mean pay cut workers surveyed are willing to take is 9.2%. Given the average salary for UK workers is £33,000, that means the average worker is willing to take a pay cut of £3,036 per annum for a better job.
Flexibility means more than simply where a worker logs on
As more businesses mandate a partial or full return to the office, Indeed’s research points to the need for them to consider when their employees work as much as where.
Flexible hours are a top sign of a progressive company according to 41% of those surveyed, behind remote & hybrid work (30%), and much higher than social environmental factors like more inclusive hiring (13%), company wide usage of pronouns (9%) and B Corp Certifications (6%).
A third of respondents (33%) say that flexible hours being the default is the future of better work. The research also shows a clear appetite for condensed as well as flexible hours: 28% believe the future of better work means people working less hours with productivity improved with 30% saying the four-day work week will be the norm, while 31% believe they could already achieve in four days what they accomplish in five.
Indeed data shows that an increasing number of employers are offering a four-day week. While still only less than 1% (0.8%) of job postings on Indeed mention a four-day week, this has risen 166% from just 0.3% in 2018.
The clear demand for flexibility is being driven by several demographics: women are more likely to say flexible working opportunities are now more important than men (63% to 57%). Workers of an ethnic minority are more likely to feel the need for flexible working options than white respondents (67%/59%).
Fair pay and flexibility are defining factors but good and better work is different for everyone
Fair pay (39%), flexible hours (36%) and job security (31%) are the top reasons that 89% of UK workers think they have a “good” job. Whereas just under a quarter (24%) say it’s because of where they can work.
In fact, fully remote workers are the least satisfied with their jobs, with almost 2 in 10 (17%) believing that their work isn’t “good”. And when it comes to what would make UK workers’ next job better than their current one, only 14% cite more remote working opportunities as a factor.
Ethnic minority workers value their company being diverse and inclusive (30%) over their own job security (24%). Whereas only one in five white respondents say being part of a diverse and inclusive company is a top reason for thinking their job is good, while 32% value job security and the social element to their job more (24%).
Engineering and architecture workers have the highest job satisfaction with 95% believing they have good work, while retail workers are least happy (82%) followed by manufacturing and utilities (83%). Workers in large companies (over 500 people) are least likely to believe that they have a good job (85%).
Danny Stacy, UK Head of Talent Intelligence at the global hiring platform Indeed, said:
“While everyone will define good work differently, our research shows that flexibility is a key driver of job satisfaction. As more businesses are beginning a full or partial return to the office, the findings show that employers who create flexible working policies may be better able to attract and retain workers.
“While workers wanting fair pay is unsurprising, the desire for flexibility also points to the growing expectation that employers design jobs that allow better work-life balance, with many workers even willing to sacrifice pay for this.
“Flexibility at work is evolving beyond where an employee logs on, and our research shows that policies like flexible hours or a four-day work week are becoming increasingly important to workers. The research underscores that for a business to be viewed as progressive by workers and jobseekers, flexibility is a defining factor.”