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UK four-day working week trial largely positive: data

By Agence France-Presse Published Sep 21, 2022 9:10 am

A UK trial exploring the benefits of a four-day working week has been largely successful but for some, the transition has been less smooth, data revealed on Tuesday, Sept. 20. 

More than 70 organizations signed up for the six-month trial that began in June, resulting in more than 3,300 staff being paid by their employers the same amount as when they worked a traditional five-day week. 

A total of 88 percent of respondents to a survey on the trial -- which is being run by 4 Day Week Global in partnership with the universities of Cambridge and Oxford -- stated that the four-day week was working "well".

Just under half said their business productivity had "maintained around the same level", while about one-third reported it had "improved slightly". A total of 15 percent said it had "improved significantly".

Joe O'Connor, chief executive at 4 Day Week Global, said "that for many it is a fairly smooth transition and for some, there are some understandable hurdles", including for those whose cultures "date back well into the last century".

The trial had so far "been extremely successful," said Claire Daniels, CEO at participant Trio Media. 

"Productivity has remained high, with an increase in wellness for the team, along with our business performing 44 percent better financially," she added.

The trial is being run with the help also of the think tank Autonomy and the 4 Day Week UK Campaign, which argues that a shorter working week allows for a better life/work balance.

Similar trials have taken place or are underway in Australia, Canada, Iceland, Ireland, New Zealand, Spain, and the United States.