Most Canadians would favour working longer days to move away from a standard five-day work week, a new poll reveals.

The Angus Reid Institute survey, released Friday, found almost half (47 per cent) of Canadians think moving to a 30-hour work week from the typical 40 hours is a good idea.

But if they can’t work fewer hours, the majority (68 per cent) of respondents said they would prefer 10-hour shifts if it meant working a four-day week.

The support for fewer working hours was correlated with political affiliation. The majority of Liberal (55 per cent) and NDP (51 per cent) supporters said they are in favour of the idea of 30-hour work weeks, while only 35 per cent of Conservative supporters agreed, the poll found.

Male respondents were slightly more in favour (72 per cent) of the idea than females (65 per cent).

The desire for a shorter work week has been on the rise since the early 1980s when a similar poll was conducted by Gallup Canada. That survey revealed four-in-10 Canadians preferred a shortened work week, while the majority (57 per cent) were happy to work five days per week. By the early 1990s, Canadians were split equally on the idea.

The typical 40-hour work week was established in Canada in the mid-1960s after unions pushed for the same standards that the U.S. had legislated through the Fair Labor Standards Act years earlier.  

Angus Reid’s online survey was conducted between March 29 and April 3 among a random sample of 1,524 Canadian adults.