Fridays are increasingly becoming a slower day with 15% less business activity[1] taking place on the day compared to average working days Monday-Thursday, which is a significant drop from 12 months ago, according to data from The Instant Group.

As flexible working becomes the norm, and with just 30% of businesses expecting to have their workforce fully back on-site before 2023[2], the data suggest that the pattern of the working week is already changing.

With the world of hybrid-working becoming the new normal for many businesses, this trend is mirrored throughout the flexible workspace industry. Work.Life, a flexible workspace operator, is seeing 43% fewer check-ins on a Friday compared to Thursday, as individuals choose this day most often to work from home.

The research from outsourced communications company Moneypenny has seen the number of successfully completed call transfers on a Friday has dropped from 19% to just 12%, as individuals have become less available[3].

Hours worked also appear to be reducing, with just 16% of all calls handled by the company now taken after 4pm, which is a 9% decline on 2019 figures, suggesting less work is done after that time.

With new work patterns including hybrid working and four-day working weeks on the rise, businesses need to prepare and plan for staff seeking better work-life balance at the end of the week. Working days during the rest of the week are becoming longer, and staff may well be choosing to balance this out by working on Fridays in a more flexible way.

Other businesses are factoring in time on Fridays for non-traditional workplace activities. While the data suggests that people are less available or active on a Friday and after 4pm, The Instant Group’s experts believe this could be because workers are changing how they choose to use the day. This could be for a networking activity, reviewing and reading documentation, or even taking time to brainstorm and think about the challenges in the coming week.

Helen Godliman, Head of HR, The Instant Group, said: “Since the global pandemic, we have experienced constant changes in working patterns and behaviours and we are yet to determine the ‘new normal’. For businesses, and their teams to thrive, it is integral that they adapt and move with the constant changes with one of these being the reduced productivity on a Friday.

“Hybrid working has no doubt presented more choice for both people and organisations. Centred around trust and empowerment, it gives people the autonomy to make smart decisions around how, where, and when they work. Employees and their managers simply need to communicate to ensure the right balance of client, business and individual needs and preferences.

“At Instant, we are successful because we do great work for our clients and our teams, not because we are seen in the office each day or work harder on certain days of the week. As long as the output and contribution are there, the input shouldn’t matter. No matter what approach business leaders choose to take, one thing for certain is that the global pandemic has changed the way in which we work forever, and we must all adapt.”