More than 30 companies are trialing four-day working weeks in the UK
Thursday could soon be the new Friday, as more than 30 companies take part in a pilot project to test four-day work weeks.
Anyone who works a regular five-day week will know what it’s like trying to fill the weekend with activities that are both productive and relaxing, trying to catch up on sleep, socializing, doing non-work related work and relax in just 48 hours before resuming work.
If we’re lucky, however, we may soon have an extra day to work as businesses across the UK are set to test the four-day week in a six-month pilot run by the organization 4 day global week.
The trial is being conducted in partnership with think tank Autonomy, the 4 Day Week UK Campaign and researchers from Oxford University, Boston College and Cambridge University, and will see employees paid the same salary for one day less work.
Participants are encouraged to maintain 100% productivity at work, while researchers will work with each company to measure the impact of the four-day week on worker well-being, environmental impact and gender equality, as well as whether there is a difference in productivity.
Joe O’Connor, pilot program manager for 4 Day Week Global, explained that a growing number of companies are “moving to productivity-focused strategies to enable them to reduce work hours without reducing wages.”
We are excited about the growing momentum and interest in our pilot program and the four-day week more broadly.
The four-day week challenges the current working model and helps companies move away from simply measuring how long people are “at work” to focus more on the output produced. 2022 will be the year that heralds this bold new future of work.
Trials will be launched in the US, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand alongside the UK pilot, with technology company Canon among the companies taking part in the scheme.
4 Day Week Global says reducing the number of days spent working will “improve business productivity, improve worker health, strengthen families and communities, challenge gender equality and contribute to a more sustainable work environment,” adding that “78% of employees who work four days a week are happier and less stressed.
The six-month trial is expected to run between June and December, with participants promising “unprecedented access to the expertise, tools and resources you’ll need to run a successful trial”.