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

This six-month pilot programme is being performed by 4 Day Week Global.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 17th January 2022

A trial that’s giving employees the chance to work just four-days a week is currently being trialled at some companies across the UK.

It may sound a little too good to be true, but it’s not.

This six-month pilot programme is being performed by 4 Day Week Global, along with think tank Autonomy, the 4 Day Week UK campaign, and researchers from Cambridge University, Oxford University, and Boston College, and as part of the trial, employees at each of the companies signed-up to take part will work for just 80% of their normal contracted work week at 100% of their pay for the sole purpose of monitoring the impact it has on productivity, as well as staff welfare.

It’s called the ‘100:80:100’ model – you will get paid for 100% of your work, but for it to be fair, the catch is that you must agree to work at 100% productivity.

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Participating businesses and companies will receive support from those organising the trial, and that includes access to experts and pioneers within the field, mentoring, and research by top academics.

The plan is to get 30 businesses on board, and mirror some of the successful programmes that have already been carried out, and are planned elsewhere in the world this year.

Once the six-month trial is complete, the programme organisers will take a look at the project as a whole, crunch the numbers, and attempt to ascertain what effect the four-day working week had on productivity for the businesses involved, as well as the wellbeing of its workers, and the impact on the environment and gender equality.

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This six-month pilot programme is being performed by 4 Day Week Global / Credit: Unsplash (Glenn Carstens-Peters)

Other studies in the past claim to have found that a four-day week is better for both productivity and worker wellbeing, but there is undoubtedly more research to be done, and that’s what this trail is aiming to do.

Speaking on the trial, Joe O’Connor – Pilot Programme Manager for 4 Day Week Global – said: “More and more businesses are moving to productivity focused strategies to enable them to reduce worker hours without reducing pay [and] we are excited by the growing momentum and interest in our pilot program and in the four-day week more broadly.

“The four-day week challenges the current model of work and helps companies move away from simply measuring how long people are ‘at work’, to a sharper focus on the output being produced. 

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“2022 will be the year that heralds in this bold new future of work.”

“This scheme has tremendous potential to progress from conversations about the general advantages of a shorter working week to focussed discussions on how organisations can implement it in the best possible way,” added Brendan Burchill, from Autonomy.

Featured Image – Unsplash (Jose Losada)