Last year in the UK, a trial run was conducted of the most innovative scheme – a four-day working week.
A third of the UK companies taking part in the largest-ever trial of the four-day working week are prepared to make the switch permanently, and the majority are not going back to the five-day standard.
UK’s Largest Four Day Work Week Trial: What Are The Results?
About 2,900 workers from 61 organizations participated in the study, which ran from June to December 2022.
According to data released on Tuesday, only three organizations chose to pause the experiment, and two more still need to be debating working fewer hours.
The remaining group came to the conclusion that four workdays per week are the new five after seeing increases in revenue, decreases in turnover, and lower levels of employee burnout.
Given that the research was conducted during trying economic conditions, such as rapid inflation, political unpredictability, and Brexit fallout, thousands of employees voluntarily adopted shorter workweeks is noteworthy. There were times when it seemed questionable to start a program to cut back on work hours during a recession.
As per lead researcher Juliet Schor, an economist, and sociologist at Boston College, “The organizations did a great job, and they’re really happy with it.”
Five Day Work Weeks No Longer Compatible?
Five-day workweeks are no longer compatible with the commitments and lifestyles of contemporary workers, especially carers, according to her research, which has been ongoing for some time.
The findings of smaller trials conducted by US, Irish, and Australian companies, published in December, are strongly supported by the UK data.
According to that study, there were similar increases in employee productivity and revenue along with decreases in turnover and absenteeism. The number of companies and employees covered by those pilots was about half that of the UK trial.
None of the 2,900 participants said they wanted to change the four-day schedule, and 15% even said no amount of extra money could convince them to switch back to five days.
The majority of businesses adopted four-day workweeks, but a small percentage chose shorter five-day schedules or, in the case of seasonal businesses like restaurants, an annualized four-day week model in which longer opening hours in the summer would make up for shorter days in the winter.