16 Mar 2023

Change four the better

A project trialling a four-day working week has led to almost all the businesses involved in the scheme choosing to keep the new work pattern. More than 60 UK businesses switched to the shorter week for six months while keeping staff on full pay. The pilot scheme finished last month and almost all the organisations who took part have now decided to make the change permanent.

A report on the project, run by 4 Day Week Global, found it had “extensive benefits”, with workers’ wellbeing seeing a particular improvement. Some businesses saw productivity increase over the shorter week and staff were much more likely to stay with their employer and less likely to call in sick. Employees also reported being happier and more motivated.

The report’s authors claim the findings could mark a shift in how we think about work patterns which could lead to a permanent and more widespread adoption of a shorter working week.

4 Day Week Global said: “The central idea, shortening working hours for no loss in pay, might once have clashed with the received wisdom of dominant burnout culture – that working more = working better – but following the success of pilot schemes around the world, overwhelmingly positive research, and societal shifts driven by Covid, working time reduction appears an increasingly ‘common sense’ approach to the world of work.”

Read more about the project and the report

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