After months of build-up, it’s finally here. The world’s biggest trial of the four-day working week has started today (June 6) in the UK, with more than 3,300 workers taking part across the country.
Those lucky, lucky people will be paid their usual salary to work one fewer day per week for the next six months. The trial is being organised by 4 Day Week Campaign, who are working with researchers from the universities of Oxford and Cambridge and the Autonomy think tank. The companies involved are spread across a huge number of industries, from robotics and skincare to construction and consultancy.
So why is the four-day working week suddenly in the spotlight? Well, the idea has been gaining traction all over the world for the past decade or so. Its popularity is based on studies which have shown that reduced working hours can actually boost productivity and company profits – and that isn’t all. The four-day week has also been touted as helping to improve mental wellbeing and workplace gender equality, as well as helping to reduce carbon emissions.
With the UK’s new trial, we’re all arguably much closer to getting a four-day working week than ever before. So for those of you lucky enough to be taking part in the trial… enjoy! And try not to mess it up for the rest of us, eh?
While you’re here: we looked into what four-day working week studies in other countries have found.