Two-thirds of Americans support implementing a 4-day work week

American workers also want more flexibility for working hours and locations

The author(s)

  • Jennifer Berg Director, US, Public Affairs
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Talia Wiseman Senior Research Analyst
Get in touch

Washington, DC, August 11, 2021 - A recent Ipsos poll finds that two-thirds of Americans support implementing a 4-day work week. Americans also show support for more flexibility at work through flexible hours and working locations. Additionally, three in five employed Americans believe Americans work too much. The poll also finds that while less than 1 in 10 Americans use public transportation in a typical week, most people support creating more public transit options in their communities.


Detailed Findings

1. Two-thirds of Americans support implementing a 4-day work week.

  • Support for a shorter work week is even higher among workers, with 7 in 10 employed Americans saying they support a 4-day work week.  
  • Half of all workers believe people would be more productive with a 4-day work week. A slightly larger share of Gen Z workers (57%) and Millennial workers (56%) say the same.
  • Most American workers want more flexibility at work, including flexible working locations and flexible working hours (76% for both). Baby Boomer workers show less support for flexible working hours (70%) than Gen X and Millennial workers (79% for both).

2. Three in five employed Americans believe Americans work too much.

  • Employed Baby Boomers are the least likely to the say the same (46%) and Millennials are the most likely (71%).
  • Support is low for European-style vacations where entire companies take longer vacations at the same time. Over two-thirds (68%) of workers would prefer 2-3 day long vacations taken at their choosing to 2-3 week long vacations at mandated times.

 3. Seven in ten Americans support creating public transit alternatives in their communities.

  • Nearly all Americans (94%) use a car as their primary transportation during the week. Less than 1 in 10 Americans (6%) use public transportation in a typical week, despite high support for more public transit options.
  • Support for creating more public transit options is highest among Urbanites (77%) and lowest among those living in rural areas (52%).
  • Rural Americans also show the lowest support for redesigning their communities to be more pedestrian friendly and minimize car traffic (44%) while the majority of urban and suburban residents express support for this policy (67% and 65%).
  • One third of Americans (34%) support adding in more highways to their communities. Less than a quarter of rural Americans support this (23%).

About the Study 

This Ipsos poll was conducted August 6 – 9, 2021, by Ipsos using the probability-based KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,016 general population adults age 18 or older. The sample includes 569 Workers, 62 Gen Z Workers, 176 Millennial Workers, 189 Gen X Workers, 141 Baby Boomer Workers, 326 Urban Residents, 504 Suburban Residents, and 186 Rural Residents. Generation Z includes ages 18-25, Millennials include ages 26-39, Generation X includes ages 40-55, and Baby Boomers include ages older than 55.

The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults. The margin of sampling error takes into account the design effect, which was 1.12. The margin of sampling error is higher and varies for results based on other sub-samples. In our reporting of the findings, percentage points are rounded off to the nearest whole number. As a result, percentages in a given table column may total slightly higher or lower than 100%. In questions that permit multiple responses, columns may total substantially more than 100%, depending on the number of different responses offered by each respondent.

The survey was conducted using KnowledgePanel, the largest and most well-established online probability-based panel that is representative of the adult US population. Our recruitment process employs a scientifically developed addressed-based sampling methodology using the latest Delivery Sequence File of the USPS – a database with full coverage of all delivery points in the US. Households invited to join the panel are randomly selected from all available households in the U.S. Persons in the sampled households are invited to join and participate in the panel. Those selected who do not already have internet access are provided a tablet and internet connection at no cost to the panel member. Those who join the panel and who are selected to participate in a survey are sent a unique password-protected log-in used to complete surveys online. As a result of our recruitment and sampling methodologies, samples from KnowledgePanel cover all households regardless of their phone or internet status and findings can be reported with a margin of sampling error and projected to the general population.

The data were weighted to adjust for gender by age, race/ethnicity, education, Census region, metropolitan status, household income, race/ethnicity by gender, race/ethnicity by age, and race/ethnicity by education. The demographic benchmarks came from the 2019 American Community Survey (ACS) except for the metropolitan status, which is not available from the 1-year ACS data, were obtained from the 2020 March Supplement of the Current Population Survey (CPS).

  • Gender (Male, Female) by Age (18–25, 26–39, 40-54 and 55+)
  • Race/Hispanic Ethnicity (White Non-Hispanic, Black Non-Hispanic, Latinx, Asian, Other)
  • Education (Less than High School, High School, Some College, Bachelor or higher)
  • Census Region (Northeast, Midwest, South, West) by Metropolitan status (Metro, non-Metro)
  • Household Income (Under $25,000, $25,000-$49,999, $50,000-$74,999, $75,000-$99,999, $100,000-$149,999, $150,000+)
  • Race/ethnicity (White/Other Non-Hispanic, Black Non-Hispanic, Latinx, Asian) by Gender (Male, Female)
  • Race/ethnicity (White/Other Non-Hispanic, Black Non-Hispanic, Latinx, Asian) by Age (18-44, 45+)
  • Race/ethnicity (White/Other Non-Hispanic, Black Non-Hispanic, Latinx, Asian) by Education (Some College or less, Bachelor and beyond)

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Chris Jackson
Senior Vice President, U.S., Public Affairs
Ipsos
+1 202 420-2025
[email protected]

Kate Silverstein
Media Relations Specialist, U.S., Public Affairs
Ipsos
+1 718 755-8829
[email protected]

About Ipsos 

Ipsos is the world’s third largest Insights and Analytics company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP www.ipsos.com

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The author(s)

  • Jennifer Berg Director, US, Public Affairs
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Talia Wiseman Senior Research Analyst

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