Firms stick to four-day week after trial ends

Firms stick to four-day week after trial ends

Firms stick to four-day week after trial ends

British companies trialing a four-day working week have mostly decided to stick with it after a six-month pilot in what campaigners for better work-life balance view as a breakthrough.

Employees at 61 companies across Britain worked an average of 34 hours across four days between June and December 2022, while earning their existing salary.

Of those, 56 companies, or 92 percent, opted to continue like that, 18 of them permanently.

The trial is the largest in the world to date, according to Autonomy, a British-based research organization which published the report alongside a group of academics and with backing from New Zealand-based group 4 Day Week Global.
Most companies involved, across different sectors and sizes with 2,900 staff overall, said productivity was maintained.

Staff said their well-being and work-life balance had improved while data showed employees were much less likely to quit their jobs as a result of the four-day week policy.

“This is a major breakthrough moment for the movement towards a four-day working week,” Joe Ryle, Director of the 4 Day Week Campaign, said in a statement yesterday.

“These incredible results show that the four-day week with no loss of pay really works.”

For some employees surveyed, the extra day off was more important than any pay rise: 15% said no amount of money would induce them back to a five-day week.

Companies from the marketing and advertising, professional services and charity sectors were most represented in the trial. Some 66 percent of those participating had 25 or fewer employees, while 22 percent had 50 or more staff.

Which four days employees worked varied. Some staff had Wednesdays off, while others had a three-day weekend policy.