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Opinion split over four-day working week trial for property industry

Our story yesterday on whether the property industry should consider trialling a four-day week generated lots of debate, comments and poll votes on this site and our social media, too.

The idea of a trial, or the four-day week concept itself, seems to divide opinion quite strongly. On a LinkedIn poll we ran off the back of the story, the majority were in favour of at least trying out a four-day week, while only a third were against the idea.

However, the comments left below the poll told a slightly different story.


Lyn Burgoyne, partner at Burgoynes Estate Agents, said: “The conveyancing system in this country is broken. It’s mayhem trying to get sales through in 5/6 days and madness to think we/staff could do the same or more in 4 days! Or do you mean 10 hour shifts during those 4 days? Whoopee.”

Meanwhile, Donna Smith, sales director at Wavensmere Homes Ltd, said: “This would be absolute madness. Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue if building sites closed down for 1 day a week, or solicitors, or estate agents? Whoever comes up with these ideas has completely the wrong work ethic in my opinion.”

The poll on our EAT story also showed a majority of readers in favour of a four-day week trial (40%), while 27% would be interested to see the results before they judge either way. Nearly a fifth (19%) believe it’s for other industries and 15% believe it would create more problems than solutions.

The comments below the piece were equally mixed, with some in favour while more claimed it was completely unworkable.

Simon Shinerock, owner of Choices Estate Agents, commented: "It would require a big rethink but with the right automation it’s possible and probably inevitable."

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    The poll would mean more if votes from employer/employee were split up.

    Anthony Hesse

    Spot on James!!

  • Charlotte  Dyer

    The simple solution would be you still cover the same working week but split the days between the staff so the staff get the benefit of a four day working week while the business is still open for the same time as it is now! WIN WIN

  • Andrew Dickinson

    This will only mean additional recruitment and expense for business owners..... and I doubt clients will be happy to pay more for our services to compensate! What is happening to the world?! I remember working 6 days a week as a rookie, late nights and did whatever was needed to get the business in and hit targets. Strikes me whoever is behind this is just work shy.

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    Why not do a poll of customers using the services of those proposing a 4 day week? So far this week I called British Gas on Monday - 2 hour queue - gave up. BG again Tuesday 20min queue. Barclays Bank almost an hour wait to be answered. Doctors 32 minutes. The story goes on and will become worse if a day of a persons time is knocked out. If an employee can honestly do 100% of work in 80% of time, then they were not pulling their weight in the first place. Wait for the 3 day week, but maybe for very different reasons as business start failing around us as they can not offer a service!

  • Proper Estate Agent

    Why are people so thick? 4 day week is 20% increase in cost and a 20% decrease in service! dress it up as you like with productivity increase BS. And people wonder why costs of everything rise...and the service levels are so much worse. More snowflake ideas. Why not just stay at home and do nothing and get paid anyway?, aww diddums bless you for having to "work" 5 days in a flash office with a coffee machine and aircon.

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    what is wrong with a 5 day working week? if you do 4 days you will need to employ more staff to keep your office open5/6 and same cases 7 days a week? we work far less now than we did years ago ! i remember having a job 6 days a week, hours as needed and 2 weeks holiday and working all bank holidays apart from Christmas day . we are breeding weak individuals. people expect you to be open 24 7 already i fear this will kill small businesses , but then that might be the plan!

  • Glenn Taylor

    An interesting comment about splitting the vote between employer and employee I would go further and age bracket the survey.
    As an employer paying PAYE and other taxes which add up to over 40% of my turnover it galls me to see this ideology.
    In my previous opinion I said staff/owners should work 7 days a week, what I didnt mean was that process is full time I meant simply an hour a day staying on top of things and having the courtesy of a quick reply. Rather than days off I would agree with reduced hours on a couple of days.
    We are in a sales industry, performance led we can be sensible about our working hours but we cant just shut or rota because these days emails and calls are very individual.

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    If a 4 day a week became law as an employer i would close the business and retire. since covid we are now used to poor service from the big companies, being kempt on hold for 20 mins plus , we have no choice! but i fear as said it will be death of small businesses. In public sector it would work because the government can just tax us more to get the extra money to for the extra staff.

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    Why do a trail or a poll ? Ask an agent who has already implemented a 4 x day week very successfully !
    We at Logic estate agents (an independent agent in LIverpool and a market leading member of the 'Guild of Property Professionals') launched the 4 day week for their whole team 12 months or so before covid.
    The result is clear cut. Highly motivated and very productive, happy team members, who go the extra mile because they have a flexible work / life balance and because they want to.
    Far more productivity all round. We can all achieve in 3 or 4 days what we do in 5. The notion that you have to have 5 x days plus to get through or deal with all that an estate agent needs to deal with each week is frankly and with respect mis - guided and out dated. All our clients are still exceptionally happy, with the excellent personal service they receive from a multi - national award winning team.
    Logic is probably the only estate agent in the UK that also has a unique online portal which enables all clients - home movers, sellers, tenants , to book and confirm viewings online 24 hours a day, leave instant feedback and make offers. 75% of the day to day admin associated with this activity in co - ordinating viewings is completed overnight - every day ! Thus leaving the professional team members to talk to clients and give them their full assistance and time. Best of all our sellers and Landlords & all clients can see all transactions in a totally transparent manner - in real time, at the same time we as agents do.
    So what is stopping the property industry moving into the 21st century ? The world has changed forever and continues to change. The way everyone communicates has changed.
    We all also realise more than ever the value of time for our personal lives. Its not a mater of working harder but it is a case of working much, much smarter !
    The team enjoys 100% of their salaries & commissions for 80% of their time. Result - Everyone is extremely happy.
    Nick Goldsworthy
    Co - Owner
    Logic Estate Agents


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