A growing body of evidence suggests that reduced-hour work schedules for the same level of pay are not only feasible when it comes to maintaining outcomes but also potentially advantageous when it comes to employee wellbeing and retention. These initiatives only work if companies undertake substantial work redesign to reduce hours while maintaining business outcomes. This means streamlining operations, removing administrative burdens, and prioritizing high-impact work. Another major challenge is ensuring employees accept that you’re asking them to produce the same amount in fewer hours.
Coming out of the pandemic, the conversation about flexible work has largely focused on whether employees should return to the office — and how often. A third of U.S. workers who can do their jobs remotely now do so all the time. LinkedIn research shows that in May 2023, nearly one in nine U.S. job postings offered remote work, 13% of postings were hybrid, and 66% of applications were for remote and hybrid roles. A CEO told me that by putting the word “remote or hybrid” into the job description, the number of job applicants tripled.