Nine in ten firms on the four-day working week trial have given it the thumbs-up

Let’s hope it becomes commonplace across the country

Written by
Faima Bakar
Contributing writer
Photograph: Shutterstock

When a groundbreaking four-day working week trial launched in the UK, many crossed their fingers that the results would be positive – and convince other companies to make the switch.

The pilot scheme saw more than 70 companies opt in for six months, with employees working four days rather than five without any loss of pay. Half-way through the trial, 86 percent of firms have said they support the policy and could keep it in place once trial period is over.

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The project is run by not-for-profit group 4 Day Week Global, alongside the Autonomy think tank, researchers at Boston College and the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, as well as the 4-Day Week Campaign, which is lobbying for a 32-hour working week with no reduction in pay.

More than 3,300 workers took part in the scheme, with businesses from multiple industries including retail, IT, food services and beyond getting involved.

Initial results were largely positive, with almost all of the 41 companies who responded to the survey reporting successful outcomes so far. Several firms said their employees had become more productive as they sought to use their time better. One company even said it saw a 44 percent rise in profits in the first three months of the study. 

‘The positive feedback is incredibly encouraging,’ said Autonomy’s Kyle Lewis. ‘[It could] support other organisations and sectors considering switching to a four-day week in the future.’

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