Thousands of UK workers begin the world’s biggest four-day work week trial

Over 70 companies and 3,300 workers are taking part in the six-month trial.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 6th June 2022

Dozens of companies in the UK are to today begin taking part in the world’s biggest four-day work week trial.

With over 70 companies and 3,300 workers from firms spanning a variety of industries – including banking, hospitality, care, IT, software training, and even animation studios – the new trial will see staff given 100% of their pay for 80% of their time on the understanding that they maintain maximum productivity over the four days.

The six-month trial is organised by 4 Day Week Global, which is working in partnership with think tank Autonomy, the 4 Day Week UK Campaign, and a number of university researchers from Oxford, Cambridge, and Boston College.

Researchers will measure the impact on productivity and the wellbeing of staff, and also look at how a four-day working week affects the environment and gender equality.

Speaking on the start of the trial today, Joe O’Connor – CEO of 4 Day Week Global – said: “As we emerge from the pandemic, more and more companies are recognising that the new frontier for competition is quality of life, and that reduced-hour, output-focused working is the vehicle to give them a competitive edge.


Read more: A four-day working week is currently being trialled in the UK

“The impact of the ‘great resignation’ is now proving that workers from a diverse range of industries can produce better outcomes while working shorter and smarter.”

Dozens of companies in the UK are to today begin taking part in the world’s biggest four-day work week trial / Credit: Jose Losada (via Unsplash)

Juliet Schor, professor of sociology at Boston College, and lead researcher on the pilot, also said that the four-day week is generally considered to be a “triple dividend policy” as it helps employees, companies, and the climate.

One of the companies taking part in the trial is Charity Bank, with its Chief Executive Ed Siegel saying the move to a four-day week “seems a natural next step” following the COVID-19 pandemic.

He explained: “We have long been a champion of flexible working, but the pandemic really moved the goalposts in this regard.


“For Charity Bank, the move to a four-day week seems a natural next step.

“The 20th-century concept of a five-day working week is no longer the best fit for 21st-century business. We firmly believe that a four-day week with no change to salary or benefits will create a happier workforce and will have an equally positive impact on business productivity, customer experience and our social mission.”

Read more: New study reveals more than 80% people will do ‘hybrid working’ in the future

Government-backed four-day week trials are also due to begin later this year in Spain and Scotland.

Featured Image – RawPixel