| 18 June 2024, Tuesday |

Four-day week liked by UK employers in world’s largest trial

Following a pilot that was hailed as a breakthrough by advocates for a better work-life balance, dozens of British firms who were testing a four-day work week have largely decided to remain with it.

Between June and December 2022, employees at 61 businesses in Britain put in an average of 34 hours over four days while still receiving their regular pay. Of them, 56 businesses, or 92%, chose to carry on in that way; 18 of them did so permanently.

The trial is the largest in the world, according to Autonomy, a British-based research organisation which published the report alongside a group of academics and with backing from New Zealand-based group 4 Day Week Global.

While the findings may be interesting for companies struggling for talent, other surveys show very few other British employers plan a four-day week soon.

The Autonomy trial covered 2,900 staff in total across different sectors, ranging from finance company Stellar Asset Management to digital manufacturer Rivelin Robotics and a fish-and-chip shop in the coastal town of Wells-next-the-sea.

The majority agreed productivity had been 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.

  • Reuters