According to a recent survey conducted by IZA in cooperation with the career network XING, about 39% of German employees would choose to reduce their weekly working time by up to 10 hours at lower pay. An additional 8% would even prefer a reduction by more than 10 hours. While 30% are satisfied with their current working hours, 22% would consider working more.
On average, men express a stronger desire to reduce working hours than women, which is likely to reflect the lower part-time rate among male employees. Younger workers and those with a university degree are also more interested in a larger reduction of working hours.
Both job preferences and workplace characteristics have an influence on the desired working time reduction. For example, employees who would prefer a more flexible and mobile work environment tend to express a stronger desire to work fewer hours. However, when employers offer flexible hours and home office use, the gap between actual and desired working hours becomes smaller.
In addition to the representative survey, XING members were also asked about their working time preferences. Linking respondents’ preferences to their XING profiles, which contain information on personal interests and hobbies, suggests that employees who spend much of their leisure time with family activities and traveling would favor a larger reduction of working hours – in contrast to those whose main interests are in sports and politics.
For more details and figures, see the German version.