A new survey shows that 57% of office workers here believe that a four-day working week is likely in the near future as technology makes work practices more efficient.

The study, by technology company Ricoh, also found that Irish employers are lagging behind their UK counterparts in facilitating flexible working options for employees. 

Only 41% of Irish workers who were surveyed felt that their employer frequently adapts working practices to their needs, in comparison to 54% of their UK counterparts.

This sentiment is felt across all generations of the workforce in Ireland with less than half of workers agreeing that their employers are doing enough to keep up with evolving employee needs. 

Today's study also found that 43% of Irish workers expect all or part of their roles to be automated within the next five years as a result of technological advancements.

It also revealed that salary, flexible working hours, learning opportunities and a work-life balance are the top priorities for workers when looking for a job.

Chas Moloney, director at Ricoh Ireland & UK, said the concept of the traditional workplace has changed significantly in recent years. 

"Interest in and appetite for a four-day work week is growing - people want to work less hours but be more effective and productive with the time they spend working," Mr Moloney stated.

He said it was "very disappointing" that Irish business leaders are not recognising this trend and adopting more flexible ways of working to motivate, encourage and retain staff. 

"A happier workforce often equates to increased employee productivity, business performance and company growth," he added.

He said that if Irish business leaders are to succeed and make the concept of the four-day work week a reality, they need to enable individual workstyles with the right technologies and agile approaches. 

"Otherwise, they could find themselves struggling to attract, keep and empower people," Mr Moloney cautioned.

The research, commissioned by Ricoh Europe and conducted by Coleman Parkes, involved 4,580 office workers from across 24 countries, including 150 from Ireland.