In a landmark trial, dozens of British employers experimented with a four-day working week between June and December 2022, with overwhelmingly positive results.
The trial, conducted by British research organisation Autonomy in partnership with a group of academics and New Zealand-based group 4 Day Week Global, saw employees at 61 companies across different sectors work an average of 34 hours across four days at the salary they had been drawing at that time. The trial is reported to be the largest of its kind in the world, covering a total of 2,900 staff members. The companies involved ranged from finance company Stellar Asset Management to digital manufacturer Rivelin Robotics and even a fish-and-chip shop in the coastal town of Wells-next-the-Sea. This is a significant finding and underscores the growing desire among workers and companies for a better work-life balance.
Despite the shorter workweek, the majority of staff reported that productivity had been maintained. Additionally, staff noted that their well-being and work-life balance had significantly improved, while data showed that employees were much less likely to quit their jobs as a result of the four-day week policy. The extra day off was perceived as a boon. These findings suggest that a four-day workweek could lead to greater job satisfaction, reduced stress, and improved employee retention rates.
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