Four-Day Work Week Trial Successful Across UK Industries

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The UK’s largest trial of a four-day workweek has shown positive results, with almost all participating companies opting to continue with the new working pattern. Of the 61 companies that took part in the six-month trial, 56 have extended the four-day week, and 18 have made it permanent.

Positive Results

According to the director of the 4 Day Week Campaign, Joe Ryle, the trial is a “major breakthrough moment.” The wellbeing of staff has reportedly improved significantly across a variety of sectors, and business productivity has either been maintained or improved in almost every case.

The trial, promoted by 4 Day Week Global, was overseen by thinktank Autonomy and a team of academics, who provided workshops and mentoring to help participating companies rethink their working practices. Staff were given the opportunity to remain on their existing salary, working across four days instead of five.

Approximately 2,900 employees across the UK took part in the pilot, and surveys taken before and after the trial found that 39% of participants reported feeling less stressed, 40% were sleeping better, and 54% said it was easier to balance work and home responsibilities. The number of sick days taken during the trial decreased by about two-thirds, and 57% fewer staff left the participating firms compared to the same period a year earlier.

Call for Shorter Working Hours

The positive results of the trial will be presented to MPs on Tuesday as part of a push urging politicians to give all workers in the UK a 32-hour workweek. The trial has been seen as a success and offers hope that a shorter workweek could work across the UK economy. The vast majority of companies reported that they were satisfied with productivity and business performance over the trial period, indicating that a shorter workweek could be an option for many businesses going forward.