Last June, more than 70 companies in the UK signed up for the six-month, four-day workweek experiment.
The idea was to test what would happen if they gave employees one paid day off per week.
Halfway through the trial, 88% of companies say the four-day workweek works “well” for their business. Additionally, 46% say their business productivity has “stayed around the same level,” while 34% report 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 well-being for the team, along with a 44% better financial performance for our company.”
What is the 4-day workweek experiment?
The 4-day workweek pilot program is a six-month trial of a 4-day workweek with no pay cuts for employees. The initiative was created by a non-profit 4 Day Week Global organization in collaboration with researchers from Cambridge University, Boston College and Oxford University.
There are currently pilot programs in the UK, US, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. 4-Day Work Week Global launches new programs in different regions each quarter.
Founded in New Zealand by architect Andrew Barnes and entrepreneur Charlotte Lockhart, 4-Day Week Global is dedicated 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 reduced hours.”
More results from the 4-day workweek pilot program
More than 3,300 employees are given one paid day off each week as part of the UK’s 4-day workweek experiment.
Businesses range from small businesses to large corporations and include education, job counseling, leadership and personal development.
The participants were asked to take part in a survey. Thirty-five of the 41 companies responded that they would “likely” or “very likely” consider continuing the four-day workweek. Six companies reported that productivity had improved significantly.
According to an article in The New York TimesSome companies said the four-day workweek gave employees more time to exercise, pick up hobbies, cook and spend time with their families.
Nicci Russell, Managing Director of Waterwise, admitted the pilot wasn’t easy at first. “We 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 already.”