Four-day working week here to stay, say UK firms

calendar 2023

by HRHQ Editorial Team

A trial of a four-day workweek in the UK, billed as the world’s largest, has found that an overwhelming majority of the 61 companies that participated from June to December will keep going with the shorter hours. Employees at the 61 companies worked an average of 34 hours across four days between June and December 2022, while earning their existing salary.

Autonomy, a UK-based research organisation 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. Employees also 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.

Joe Ryle, Director of the 4Day Week Campaign, said  “This is a major breakthrough moment for the movement towards a four-day working week. These incredible results show that the four-day week with no loss of pay really works.”

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

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.