Three quarters of all professionals would change jobs for a nine day working fortnight

August 2023

  • Over half (51%) of professionals would be tempted to change jobs for a four-day compressed working week;
  • Over half of all employers (56%) anticipate that staff will be required back in the office more often in the next 12 months; 34% expect it to remain the same; only 10% think they will be required in the office less frequently;
  • Employers are offering new incentives to attract employees back into the office; including onsite childcare (30%), bike storage and shower facilities (48%), option to bring pets into the office (25%), and paid for or subsidised lunch (50%).
  • Hays comment: “it is a positive that these questions are being asked and that old ways of working are now being challenged.”

A recent survey conducted by leading recruiter Hays Ireland suggests that three quarters (75%) of all Irish-based professionals would change jobs for a nine-day working fortnight. Over half (51%) would consider changing roles for a compressed four-day working week, according to the sample size of 1,600 employers and employees. 

Post-Pandemic, there has been an ongoing discourse relating to the suitability of the traditional nine-to-five workplace and office environment in modern life. In recent months, numerous high-profile employers, including most recently, video-conferencing company Zoom, have transitioned away from remote working in favour of a return to the office.

In line with this trend, the research suggests that more than half (56%) of employers anticipate that their staff will be required back in the office more frequently in the next 12 months; 34% expect it to remain unchanged; meanwhile only 10% believe staff will be required less in the office.

Enticing staff back to the office

Many employers are providing new incentives to encourage staff to return to the workplace. Nearly half (49%) of all employers are investing in better computer hardware, including additional screens and faster internet connections. 49% of employers are also providing bike storage and shower facilities to make it easier to cycle to work.

Other prominent perks include onsite childcare (30%) and subsidised childcare (20%); bring your pet to work policies (25%); paid-for or subsidised lunch catering (51%) and paid-for or subsidised travel (41%).

Maureen Lynch, managing director at Hays Ireland, comments: “In recent years, we have seen unprecedented change in how we work and our expectations of the traditional workplace. Much of this change was brought on by Covid restrictions, however, it has since prompted a deeper conversation in relation to the how employers and employees perceive the traditional office environment and the nine-to-five working day.

“Our research suggests this conversation is still in its infancy. Employees favour greater autonomy relating to the hours they work and where they work from. Employers, for their part, recognise the many benefits of remote and hybrid working, but have also identified certain challenges.

“In recent days, Zoom made headlines by calling its staff back to the office, at least on a hybrid basis. However, others have taken a less explicit approach, and have looked to attract staff back to the office via incentives including onsite childcare, subsidised meals and travel, and even bring your pet to work policies.

“The concept of a four-day working week has gained momentum in the last 12 months. The latest iteration of this concept is the nine-day working fortnight, which would allow employees to take off every second Friday. This is obviously an exciting prospect for many professionals and may be more palatable to employers. However, our research suggests employers and employees are still grappling with what this would look like in practice, and which sectors would be most suited to this new way of working. Either way, it is positive that these questions are being asked and that old ways of working are now being challenged.”

The research was conducted amongst a sample of 1,597 of employers and employees between April and May 2023. For more information, visit




About Hays

Hays plc (the "Group") is the world’s leading specialist in workforce solutions and recruitment, such as RPO and MSP. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK, Germany and Australia and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe, Latin America and Asia. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 31 December 2022, the Group employed over 13,000 staff operating from 255 offices in 33 countries. For the year ended 30 June 2022:

– the Group reported net fees of £1,189.4 million and operating profit of £210.1 million;

– the Group placed around 83,750 candidates into permanent jobs and around 250,000 people into temporary roles;

– 16% of Group net fees were generated in Australia & New Zealand, 26% in Germany, 22% in United Kingdom & Ireland and 36% in Rest of World (RoW);

– the temporary placement business represented 55% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 45% of net fees;

– Technology is the Group’s largest division, with 26% of net fees, while Accountancy & Finance (14%) and Construction & Property (11%), are the next largest

– Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, UAE, the UK and the USA

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