Dream turns reality for companies trialling 4-day week

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A pilot trialling the four-day week as been hailed as a 'breakthrough moment' after most companies involved have decided to stick to the new regime.

A total of 61 companies participated, out of which 56 are continuing with the four-day week (92 per cent), with 18 confirming the policy is a permanent change.

The trial took place from June to December 2022. Companies were from a diverse range of sectors and sizes and were not required to rigidly deploy one type of four day week, as long as pay was maintained at 100 per cent and there was a ‘meaningful’ reduction in work time.

39 per cent of employees were less stressed, and 71 per cent had reduced levels of burnout at the end of the trial. Photograph: iStock

Crunching the trial data, research teams at Boston College, the University of Cambridge and Autonomy – a research agency focused on the future of work – found huge improvements in wellbeing.

39 per cent of employees were less stressed, and 71 per cent had reduced levels of burnout at the end of the trial.

Likewise, levels of anxiety, fatigue and sleep issues decreased, while mental and physical health both improved.

Companies’ revenue stayed around the same over the trial period, rising by 1.4 per cent on average.

Joe Ryle, Director of the 4 Day Week Campaign, said: “This is a major breakthrough moment for the movement towards a four-day working week.

“Across a wide variety of different sectors of the economy, these incredible results show that the four-day week with no loss of pay really works.”

Dr David Frayne, Research Associate at University of Cambridge, said: “The method of this pilot allowed our researchers to go beyond surveys and look in detail at how the companies were making things work on the ground.

“We feel really encouraged by the results, which showed the many ways companies were turning the four-day week from a dream into a realistic policy, with multiple benefits. We think there is a lot here that ought to motivate other companies and industries to give it a try”.

The Results are in: The UK's Four-Day week pilot report here


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