The world’s largest four-day workweek experiment reveals an increase in employee well-being.

The world's largest four-day workweek experiment reveals an increase in employee well-being.

The workforce wants change. While the covid-19 pandemic stay-at-home orders have shown that many jobs can shift (at least partially) to a remote setup, the next big change could be the length of the workweek itself. same. In June, more than 3,300 UK employees began taking part in a six-month experiment to test the effectiveness of the four-day week, organized by the non-profit organization 4 Day Global. The pilot program is now halfway through, and 4 Day Global is reporting overwhelmingly positive results. Specifically, 88% of participants surveyed said the four-day week works well for their business.

“The pilot organizations in the UK are delivering real-time data and insights that are worth their weight in gold. Essentially, they’re laying the groundwork for the future of work by putting the four-day week into practice, across every size of business and almost every industry, and telling us exactly what they’re finding as they go. said Joe O’Connor, CEO of Four Day Week, in a press release.

The results also include 86% of survey respondents indicating that they would be likely or extremely likely to keep the four-day work week, while a total of 46% of respondents reported some increase in productivity. Companies also indicated that the transition from the traditional five-day work week was relatively easy. On a scale of 1, “extremely difficult,” to 5, “extremely easy,” 4 Day Week Global found that 98% of respondents gave the transition to the four-day week a rating of 3 or more.

Before the experiment began, 4 Day Week Global said it was the largest pilot program of its kind, in which, as long as workers maintain 100% of their productivity, they will also maintain 100% of their pay while working 80% of the traditional workweek. The non-profit organization collaborated on this pilot program with the think tank Autonomy as well as researchers from the University of Cambridge, Boston College and the University of Oxford. Companies participating in the experiment range from fishmongers to public relations firms to technology companies. While the move to the four-day week is certainly appealing, Mr. O’Connor acknowledges that it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to a work revolution.

“We are learning that for many the transition is smooth, while for others there are understandable obstacles, especially in companies that have relatively fixed or inflexible practices, systems or cultures dating back to well into the last century,” O’Connor said.

4 Day Week Global also reported testimonials from high-level executives from some of the companies involved in the project. Claire Daniels, CEO of Trio Media, said, “Productivity remained high, with an increase in team well-being, and our company’s financial results increased by 44%. Sharon Platts, Director of Human Resources at Outcomes First Group, said: “While it is still early days, we are increasingly confident that the project will continue beyond the trial and error. The impact on the well-being of colleagues is palpable. »

The four-day workweek is a tantalizing concept for the working class, and one that seems increasingly legitimate as pilot programs like this collect illuminating data on the concept. Microsoft flirted with the four-day week in Japan and saw an increase in sales numbers and employee happiness levels. The biggest hurdle to overcome will be getting enough companies and leaders on board to make the four-day week a permanent feature of the global labor market, but the results of big projects like the 4 Day Week Global only brings us closer to that end goal.


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