Last June, more than 70 companies in the UK signed up for the six-month experiment of a four-day workweek.
The idea was to test what would happen if they gave employees one paid day off per week.
Halfway through the trial, 88% of the companies indicate that the four-day working week works ‘good’ for their company. In addition, 46% say their business productivity has “stayed at about the same level”, while 34% report that it has “improved slightly”.
“The four-day trial has been extremely successful for us so far,” said Claire Daniels, CEO of Trio Media, one of the companies involved in the trial. “Productivity has remained high, with an increase in team well-being, while our company has outperformed financially by 44%.”
What is the 4-Day Workweek Experiment?
The 4-day workweek pilot program is a six-month trial of a four-day workweek, with no loss of wages for employees. The initiative was created by a non-profit organization of 4 Day Week Global in collaboration with researchers from Cambridge University, Boston College and Oxford University.
Currently there are pilot programs in the UK, US, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. 4-Day Work Week Global launches new programs in different regions every quarter.
Founded in New Zealand by architect Andrew Barnes and australiabusinessblog.com Charlotte Lockhart, 4-Day Week Global is committed to “supporting the idea of the 4-day week as part of the future of work,” according to their website. Lockhart says she’s passionate about showing “the benefits of a productivity-focused workplace with fewer hours.”
More results from the 4-Day Workweek Pilot Program
More than 3,300 workers are getting paid days off each week as part of the UK 4-day workweek experiment.
The companies range from small businesses to large corporations, ranging from education, workplace consulting, leadership and personal development.
The participants were asked to complete a survey. Thirty-five of the 41 companies responded that they would “probably” or “extremely likely” consider continuing the four-day workweek. Six companies reported significant productivity improvements.
According to an article in The New York Timessome companies said the four-day work week had given employees more time to exercise, take up hobbies, cook and spend time with their families.
Nicci Russell, Waterwise’s general manager, admitted that the pilot was not easy at first. “We’ve all had to work on it — some weeks are easier than others,” he said. “But it’s been great for our well-being and we’re definitely more productive now.”