Three years after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, workers are still feeling its lingering effects ─ and now, they’re pushing back against the 40-hour week. Following the great resignation and quiet quitting movement to curb overwork, new research finds that Americans’ time spent on the job has dropped by 33 hours per year.
"There's a growing annoyance with work tasks that add no value to our lives," says Anthony Klotz, a professor of management at London's UCL School of Management.
“People are happy to come back to the office and perform their core job functions, but they don’t have a lot of tolerance for things outside of that,” Klotz explains. “Like, if you’re making me come to the office or attend an on-site meeting, it better be good.”
In 2022, some companies made an effort to address the desire for fewer hours. More than 900 workers across 33 businesses in the U.S. and Ireland tested a four-day workweek and saw improved productivity, finances and relationships. Other companies are experimenting with meeting-free days and half-day Fridays as timesaving strategies.
It’s unclear if the four-day workweek will eventually become more common. For now, many workers are trying to redraw boundaries between work and life by fully signing off on evenings and weekends, limiting after-hours work calls, and saying no to extra projects.