More than 80% of public administration workers want a 4-day week

Data results from a survey carried out among 14.232 workers from 649 public entities

More than eight out of every 10 public administration workers agree with the four-day week, but there are also those who refuse the measure for fear of loss of quality of services and lack of conditions to implement it.

These data result from a survey on the organization of working time in public administration, carried out between July and September 2023 with a sample of 14.232 workers from 649 public entities and whose results were released today by PlanApp – Planning, Policies, Prospects.

In response to the question about whether the working week should be reduced to four days, without a reduction in pay, 54,62% of respondents said they completely agreed, in addition to 30,04% who said they agreed with the measure, for a total of 85%.

This adherence to the reduction of working hours results from the fact that the majority of workers feel a lack of time for themselves and their family and also because they consider that they have difficulty reconciling professional, personal and family life on most days.

According to a survey, 51% of workers say that they do not have time for their family on their working days and almost 60% feel that they do not have time for themselves or their 'hobbies'.

The reduction of the working week to four days is, however, rejected by 3% of respondents, and of those who disagree, "a large part does so because they do not envisage the possibility of this reduction, particularly without loss of quality of services", and others (28%) disagree because they do not consider it necessary.

There are also those who disagree with the four-day week, those who do so because of issues “of justice and equity vis-à-vis other workers (in the private sector) and fears regarding the way in which this reduction will be implemented (possibly more serious for the management and workload)”.

According to the study, it is among management careers and those associated with higher education and scientific research that there is a greater propensity to refuse to reduce the working week. Among those who disagree, men and people aged 55 or over stand out.

Of the more than 14 thousand workers who responded to the survey – corresponding to around 2,7% of the total registered in the State Organization Information System (SIOE) on March 31, 2023 – around 70% are women, 65% have 45 or more years old and close to 71% have at least a bachelor's degree.

Although the sample covers the different ministerial areas, it is not proportional to the weight that each of them has in the universe of central administration, with there being careers (such as firefighters, magistrates or prison guards) for which the final sample did not allow sufficient information to be obtained.