What’s going on
Americans are working fewer hours than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic, with the average workweek in May 2023 down to 34.3 hours, compared to 35 hours in January 2021. This trend is occurring despite a strong labor market, with 339,000 jobs added in May. The shift is attributed to employees’ desire for more flexible schedules and businesses’ reluctance to lay off employees even as the economy slows.
Why it matters:
This trend is significant as it indicates a shift in work-life balance and the way businesses operate. It shows that employees are prioritizing flexibility and that businesses are adapting to these preferences. This could have implications for productivity, employee satisfaction, and overall business operations.
How it’ll impact the future of work:
The trend towards fewer working hours could lead to a more flexible and balanced work model becoming the norm. This could result in companies needing to rethink their operational strategies and how they manage their workforce. It could also lead to a greater emphasis on efficiency and productivity within the working hours, rather than the number of hours worked.
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