Four-day working week: UK leading the way

Among the benefits noted: most employees were less stressed, less burnt out and had a better work-life balance.

According to the results published this week, the companies indicated that their turnover had remained stable between June and December 2022 and that it had even increased compared to the same six months of the previous year.

We are truly encouraged by the results, which show the many ways in which companies have transformed the four-day week from a dream into a realistic policy, with multiple benefits.said David Frayne, a research associate at the University of Cambridge who helped lead the team responsible for conducting the interviews with the employees who participated in the trial. We think there’s a lot here that should motivate other companies and industries to give it a try.

The university team worked with several researchers from other organizations to see how companies in industries ranging from marketing to finance to nonprofits and their 2,900 employees would respond to a reduction in hours. work with continued pay.

As expected, employees reported benefits: 71% said they felt less burnt out, 39% less stressed, and 48% more satisfied with their jobs than before the trial.

Among workers, 60% said it was easier to balance work and home responsibilities, while 73% reported greater life satisfaction. According to the study results, fatigue decreased, people slept more and their mental health improved.

Better economic performance

For companies that have implemented shorter working hours – whether that means one less working day per week or longer hours during certain parts of the year and shorter hours the rest of the time to reach an average 32-hour week − turnover has not declined, according to the results.

Revenue increased by 1.4% during the trial for 23 companies that provided adequate data – weighted by company size – while another 24 companies saw their revenue increase by 1.4%. business increase by more than 34% compared to the same half of the previous year.

The likelihood of employees quitting was down 57% from the same period a year earlier, as was the number of sick days, which was down 65% from a year earlier.

Among companies, 92% said they would continue to implement the four-day week, and 30% said it was a permanent change.

« Not only do these results show that the UK pilot program has been a resounding success, but it is encouraging that they largely mirror the results of our previous trials in Ireland and the US, further strengthening the case for the four-day week. »

A quote from Charlotte Lockhart, Managing Director of 4 Day Week Global

There are, of course, sectors that cannot institute shorter hours because they need workers around the clock, such as hospitals and emergency workers. In recent months, these workers and many others have been on strike in the UK to demand better working conditions and wages commensurate with the high cost of living.

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