4-Day Work Week: Coming Soon?

Nearly two years into the pandemic-driven shift in how (and where) we work, employees have made it abundantly clear that they are seeking greater flexibility and autonomy from their employers – and they’re finally getting it. The ability to work some days at home and some days in the office (a hybrid model) or working fully remote has been significant in reducing burnout and retaining talent – but is it enough? The buzz around the potential for a 4-day work week model is increasingly coming into consideration at a time when employees are resigning in record numbers in favor of greater work-life balance.

In order to understand what type of working arrangements are most important for Regulatory professionals, we conducted a survey of over 400 biotech, pharmaceutical, and diagnostic Regulatory professionals during the week of January 24th, 2022.  We asked about how they are working now, what their level of stress is, and whether they would be interested in a four-day work week.

The survey consisted of four questions as follows:

1. What is your current work schedule?

The results showed that while 18% of Regulatory Affairs professionals are working partially in the office (hybrid), 75% of respondents are working fully remote. 5% of respondents stated they are working a flexible schedule (less than 5 days a week) and just 3% of Regulatory Affairs professionals are onsite 5 days a week.

2. How would you rate your overall stress level over the past few months?

While 29% of respondents are experiencing little to no stress right now, 11% of regulatory respondents report feeling highly stressed. An overwhelming 60% of regulatory affairs professionals are feeling moderate stress.

3. What type of work arrangement is most appealing to you?

Regulatory professionals have been speaking loud and clear when it comes to their desire to work remotely or partially remotely with over 56% of respondents still being most attracted to that option and 22% of respondents are motivated by a 4-day work week (although just 5% currently working this way). Only 6% of respondents were enticed by free company-provided healthcare benefits, with just 4% being motivated by unlimited paid time off.

Several respondents provided their own insights, many of which reflected a willingness to come to the office infrequently (1x/month), as well as their desire for a combination of these benefits to be competitively enticing.  Here are a few examples of write-in responses:

Hybrid mostly remote with occasional in-person work as appropriate

I currently have fully remote, unlimited PTO, and free healthcare… All very important

All of the above!

Remote, onsite as needed (once a month), and free company-provided healthcare

4. How do you feel about a 4-day work week?

90% of respondents feel that they are/could be equally or more productive during a 4-day work week, with 59% of respondents feeling equally productive, and a surprising 31% feeling more productive than in a 5-day work week. Interestingly, 10% of respondents are or suspect they are less productive in 4 days.

There’s no question: employees are feeling burnout and stress. This is somewhat surprising despite the overwhelming majority of regulatory professionals who are currently working remotely or with flexible schedules. The biggest takeaway here is that a 4-day work week or being a fully remote employee alone may not be sufficient enough to attract and retain regulatory professionals in the current market.

Retaining and hiring excellent Regulatory talent is crucial to the success of any organization. Dennis Partners knows how to identify and attract world-class Regulatory professionals beyond what you see on paper, diving deep into a prospective candidate’s motivations and aspirations, with an innovative approach that focuses on the ideal fit and long-term success of both our clients and candidates. We conduct this research so we can better advise and advocate for our clients and candidates during this ever-evolving time.

Whether you are seeking a career change or finalizing your Regulatory hiring plans for 2022, know that Dennis Partners can create strategic and customized solutions to your needs. As the leader in Regulatory Affairs recruiting, we are a partner in all aspects with the ability to share invaluable insight into the market. Contact us today to see how we can help you meet your goals for 2022.

We Know Regulatory ©