A four-day week trial started on 6th June where more than 70 businesses in the UK have taken part in a pilot to reduce working hours. The trial which is being led by 4 Day Week Global, will last for 6 months and results will be monitored by top universities such as Cambridge and Oxford. During this time, employees will work 80% of their usual hours but will be paid 100% of their salary.
As we continue to navigate our way through a candidate-driven market, we’re all looking at ways to gain and retain the best staff. Flexible working has become an essential way of working for many. In addition, we are looking forward to finding out the results of the experiment. In the meantime, we will give you a better understanding of the pilot and what a four-day week may mean for your business.
What is the four-day working week pilot?
The 6-month pilot which began on 6th June 2022 in the UK, will see more than 3,300 employees taking part. During this time, staff will receive their full salary but will work 1 day less than what they usually do. In return, they must maintain the same amount of productivity during this time. What’s great about the experiment is that a wide range of sectors will be taking part. This will give businesses an insight in to success rates for their specific sector.
To ensure accuracy, the trial will be managed by UK think tank Autonomy, researchers at Cambridge University, Oxford University, Boston College, the 4 Day Week UK Campaign, and 4 Day Week Global. These organisations will work closely with the businesses to analyse productivity, employee wellbeing, gender equality, and environmental impact.
The team will also monitor the impact on work-life balance. They will spent time with employees to monitor stress levels, sleep, how they travel to work, and much more.
Juliet Schor, lead researcher and professor of sociology at Boston College said: “The four-day week is generally considered to be a triple-dividend policy – helping employees, companies, and the climate.”
What are the potential benefits for employers?
There’s a lot of benefits that a 4-day week can bring. One of these benefits can be reduced costs. If the office is closed an extra day a week, running costs will likely drop.
An employee with a better work/life balance is a happier, more focused, and loyal employee. Having more of a personal life can also improve wellbeing.
Offering a more flexible way of working can also help you to attract talented candidates. a 4-day working week is a rare offering at the minute. In addition, this can be a great way to show your business thinks about the future. It also shows you take work-life balance seriously.
However, a 4-day week may not work for every business. It’s important to weigh up the benefits and negatives before making any changes. If you would like any help with this, you can contact us on 01383 668178. We will monitor the trial for the next 6 months and will keep you updated with the findings.