91% of UK trial companies to continue four-day work week after ‘major breakthrough’
91% of the UK companies that took part in the world’s largest four-day work pilot have said they will continue with it now the trial has ended.
The pilot programme – which was run by 4 Day Week Global, in partnership with think tank Autonomy, the 4 Day Week UK Campaign, and a number of university researchers from Oxford, Cambridge, and Boston College – began in June 2022, and ran for a total of six-months before it was brought to a close earlier this year.
More than 60 companies and 3,300 workers from firms spanning a variety of industries signed up to the trial – with companies in banking, hospitality, care, IT, software training, and even animation studios taking part in the trial.
Staff taking part in the trial were given 100% of their pay for 80% of their time on the understanding that they maintain maximum productivity over the four days.
With the trial now complete, the feedback from participating companies provided, and the results determined, 4 Day Week Global has revealed that almost every organisation from the trial will stick to a four-day week – with 91% saying they will definitely continue or are planning to continue, and a further 4% leaning towards continuing.
Only 4% of participating organisations said they wouldn’t continue.
Companies rated their overall experience of the six-month trial an average of 8.5 out of 10.
Business productivity and business performance each scored 7.5 out of 10, while revenue rose by 35% over the trial period when compared to similar periods from the previous year, and hiring increased and employee absentees decreased.
The health and wellbeing of employees also improved, according to 4 Day Week Global – with significant increases in physical and mental health, time spent exercising, and overall life and job satisfaction.
Rates of stress, burnout, and fatigue all fell, and problems with sleep declined.
Environmental outcomes were also encouraging, according to those running the campaign – with commuting time falling by an average of half an hour per week.
Speaking on the success of the trial, leader researcher Professor Juliet Schor of Boston College says she saw an “encouraging consistency” in the data, and added that: “Results are largely steady across workplaces of varying sizes, demonstrating this is an innovation which works for many types of organisations.
“There are also some interesting differences.
“We found that employees in non-profits and professional services had a larger average increase in time spent exercising, while those in construction and manufacturing enjoyed the largest reductions in burnout and sleep problems.”
Overall, 4 Day Week Global says the trial has been a “huge success” and a “massive breakthrough” – which ultimately signals “good news for the future of work”.
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The campaign’s co-founder and managing director, Charlotte Lockhart, said the organisation is looking forward to adding its Australasian pilot results to the UK data “in the coming weeks”, as well as the results from the European, South African, Brazilian, and North American trials over the next couple of months.
Featured Image – Jose Losada (via Unsplash)