Largest four-day working week pilot ever launched in UK
Workers across the UK have just enjoyed a long weekend to celebrate 70 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. From now on, thousands of employees will continue to enjoy long weekends.
On Monday, the largest four-day working week pilot scheme in history was launched in the UK, with 3,300 employees across 70 different companies taking part. Researchers from Cambridge, Oxford and Boston College will assess whether employees can truly operate at 100% productivity just 80% of the time, while earning exactly the same pay. God speed, test subjects.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (Monday to Thursday)
Organized by non-profit groups 3 Day Week Global, 4 Day Week UK Campaign and Autonomy, the six-month trial will include workers from businesses as diverse as banking, healthcare, retail and hospitality , and will assess outcomes far beyond just work productivity, including “stress and burnout, job and life satisfaction, health, sleep, energy consumption, travel and many other aspects of life,” said Juliet Schor, senior researcher and professor of sociology at Boston College. The New York Times In Monday.
This is just the latest in a long line of tries and moves to tip the work-life balance a bit more in life foster:
- 2,500 workers in Iceland took part in the previous largest trial, which ended in 2019 and saw no drop in productivity, CNN reported; 86% of all workers in the country are now entitled to working weeks of 36 hours or less.
- In Spain and Scotland, governments even offer subsidies to companies for setting up a four-day working week. Meanwhile, companies in Ireland, Australia, Canada and the United States are planning similar trials this fall.
WorkerGate: Although the trend has accelerated as work habits have changed amid the pandemic, the concept isn’t exactly new. As Vice President in 1956, Richard Nixon even imagined that long weekends would be the norm in the “not too distant future”. The definition of “not too far off” stretches, but a May 2020 survey by GoodHire found that 83% of 4,000 full-time employees support removing Fridays. Color us shocked.