Four-day working week trial a resounding success

calendar 2023

The twelve companies in Ireland that trialed a four-day working week have reported it as a success by both the businesses and employees who took part.

The project, backed by the trade union Fórsa and carried out in partnership by Four-Day Week Ireland, UCD and Boston College, examined the financial, social, and environmental impact that a four-day working week would have on businesses and employees in Ireland.

All of the companies and organisations that took part in the six-month experiment also reported a range of positive outcomes, including productivity and reduced energy usage, while all but one noted an increase in revenue.

In the US 33 companies with more than 900 employees took part in the trial. Of the 27 that reported, none said they were planning to go back to a five-day workweek. Eighteen will definitely resume the shortened workweek, while seven plan to but have yet to solidify details and two are undecided.

The U.K. version of the trial, which involves 70 companies is due to end in January and full results won’t be available until February.

Dr Orla Kelly, lead researcher of UCD, said that the research can provide key learnings and lessons for the future of work in Ireland.

General Secretary of Fórsa Kevin Callinan said the research highlighted the need for a more balanced work-life schedule.