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  • The Merge

UK Employers Lure Gen Z Workers With 'Early Finish Fridays' Amid Staff Shortage Crisis

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

Amid a staff shortage crisis, UK employers are growing increasingly desperate to recruit and retain Gen Z workers. To make their offers more enticing, they're turning to innovative perks like "early finish Fridays."

This strategy has seen a significant surge in popularity, with online job postings highlighting the perk more than ever before. Let's examine the role of 'Early Finish Fridays' in addressing the UK's staffing challenges and meeting the needs of a post-pandemic workforce.


What Are 'Early Finish Fridays'?

Ever dreamt of wrapping up work early on a Friday, leaving the office behind to kickstart your weekend? Well, that's precisely what 'Early Finish Fridays' are all about. UK bosses are giving their Gen Z employees the chance to clock out early on Fridays, often with no reduction in pay. This flexible approach aims to boost productivity, work-life balance, and ultimately, employee satisfaction.

The Rise of 'Early Finish Fridays'

A Surge in Job Postings

Adzuna, a popular online jobs portal, has reported a sharp increase in job postings offering shorter workdays on Fridays. In March, there were 1,426 job ads featuring "early finish Fridays," compared to only 583 in the same month five years earlier, before the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the working world. This trend signals a significant shift in employer strategies as they aim to attract Gen Z workers.

Image via Bloomberg

Meeting the Demands of a Post-Pandemic Workforce

Andrew Hunter, the co-founder of Adzuna, believes the shift towards offering 'Early Finish Fridays' reflects employees "demanding more" from their employers in the wake of the pandemic. In an emailed statement, Hunter said, "For jobseekers, a company offering early-finish Fridays signals that they are flexible in their attitude to working hours and care about their employees' wellbeing – two factors of utmost importance in today's jobs market."

The Impact of 'Early Finish Fridays' on Gen Z Recruitment

Showcasing Flexibility and Employee Wellbeing

UK employers recognize that offering 'Early Finish Fridays' sends a strong message to potential Gen Z recruits. This perk demonstrates a company's flexibility and commitment to employee well-being, which are critical factors for job seekers in the current job market. By embracing this innovative approach, UK employers can better compete for top talent and address their staffing challenges.

A lot of companies participated in a series of trials around the world in 2022 to experiment with a four-day workweek to keep up with the changing times and emphasise on work-life balance.

Aligning with Gen Z Priorities

Gen Z workers are known for prioritizing flexibility, autonomy, and work-life balance in their careers. 'Early Finish Fridays' cater to these priorities, making job offers from companies that provide this perk more appealing to the newest generation of professionals. By adapting to the changing demands of the workforce, UK employers can successfully recruit and retain Gen Z workers in the face of the ongoing staff shortage crisis.

Embracing Change to Overcome Challenges

The implementation of 'Early Finish Fridays' by UK employers demonstrates their willingness to evolve in response to the staff shortage crisis and the shifting priorities of the post-pandemic workforce. By offering this perk, employers can stand out in a competitive job market and successfully recruit and retain the talented Gen Z workers they desperately need for junior staff, in roles with salaries between £20,000 and £40,000 ($50,000), according to Adzuna data provided to Bloomberg.


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