The Harris Poll’s CV19 Tracker recently included some questions about the 4-day week, and they provide a snapshot of American attitudes toward the idea of a shorter week:

  • 82% of employed Americans say they’d be willing to work the same amount of hours in a 4-day work week.
  • 81% of supervisors or those who have direct reports say they support a 4-day work week
  • 71% of employed Americans say they’d actually be more productive during a 4-day work week.
  • Compared to other age groups, 66% of millennials said they would be more productive during a 4-day work week. That is less than the 3 in 4 over the age of 35 who said they would be more productive during a shorter work week.

Speaking of work and income, one-third (32%) say they expect their income to be lower this year, 46% say it will be about the same, and 22% say it will be higher.

Harris Poll Methodology: This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll from May 29 –31 among a nationally representative sample of 1,965 U.S. adults

One of the interesting things here is the percentage of supervisors who favor a 4-day week: this seems to me to be a significant finding, given how important founders and company heads are the decision to shift a 4-day week.

I’ve seen attitudes toward a 4-day week change pretty significantly in the year since I’ve been talking about them. It used to be that even raising the idea of a 4-day week branded you as a modern-day Luddite agent of the Comrade Stalin Institute for the Disruption of Capitalism, or an advocate of alchemy and witchcraft. Now, there’s still plenty of skepticism, but I sense that people are willing to be convinced– or at least willing to believe that there’s evidence in favor of the effectiveness of a 4-day week.

The finding that older workers think they’re more productive during a shorter week doesn’t surprise me at all: the combination of work experience and parenting give older workers greater confidence in their ability to make a shorter workweek succeed.

The assumptions about lower work and income, though, are dispiriting if unsurprising. And given how important recruitment and retention has been as a factor in getting companies to move to a 4-day week, it’s likely that if the labor market is as much of a train wreck as some economists expect, that could really slow adoption of shorter hours.

Thanks to my friends at Targeted Victory for the data!