British firms trail towards four-day working week

Soon, Thursday will be the new Friday for many employees, as the UK shifts to trying out the famous four-day working week.

British firms trail towards four days working week
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British firms trail towards four days working week

Employers in the United Kingdom are experimenting with a four-day working week, with employees getting full pay. In the previous six years, several countries have successfully trialled a four-day system, and the UK is the latest to do so. According to analysts, more than 30 organisations will participate in the radical new style of working in 2022.

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Anyone who works a standard five-day week understands how difficult it is to cram the weekend with both productive and restful activities. The two days are filled with attempting to catch up on sleep, socialise, do non-work-related chores, and wind down in the 48 hours before returning to work. So, if the trial pans out successfully, there would soon be a three-day weekend to encompass all of it.

100% productivity goal

According to new data, 78% of employees who work four-day weeks are happier and less worried. During the six-month trial from June to December, workers will be tested to see if they can work at 100% productivity for 80% of the time. 4 Day Week Global is leading the trial in collaboration with Autonomy, the 4 Day Week UK Campaign, and researchers from Oxford University, Boston College, and Cambridge University.

Joe O’Connor, pilot programme manager for 4 Day Week Global, said:

More and more businesses are moving to productivity-focused strategies to enable them to reduce worker hours without reducing pay.
We are excited by the growing momentum and interest in our pilot program and in the four-day week more broadly.
The four-day week challenges the current model of work and helps companies move away from simply measuring how long people are “at work”, to a sharper focus on the output being produced. 2022 will be the year that heralds in this bold new future of work.

Future of working

Many people have cited the overwhelming success of Iceland's largest-ever four-day working week trial, which took place from 2015 to 2019. According to the findings, workers were less stressed and had a better work-life balance, while employers noticed no significant decrease in productivity or service supply.

Initially, the trial involved only a few dozen unionised public sector employees. However, as the trial developed, it grew to 2,500 people from both the public and private sectors, representing 1% of the country's employment. Cops, nurses, teachers, shop assistants, and city employees were among those who took part in the trials.

The success of the trial, as well as comparable pilots in New Zealand and Spain, prompted calls for it to be implemented in the United Kingdom.

According to 4 Day Week Global, reducing the number of days spent working will improve business productivity, worker health outcomes, stronger families and communities, challenge the gender equality issue, and work towards a more sustainable work environment.

Ireland is trialing a four-day work week Ireland is trialing a four-day work week