UK tries out 4-day work week

About 70 companies are part of this trial

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About 70 companies in the UK have become part of a trial, which may lead to the implementation of a four-day work week in the country.

Even the universities of Cambridge and Oxford are participating in and helping coordinate this pilot project, which is spread over a period of six months. It is hoped that the productivity of the employees will remain the same even though they will be working for only four days instead of five.

This pilot trial is probably the world’s biggest till date.

The trial programme has witnessed participation from over 3,300 employees from about 30 sectors, across Britain. All these employees are being paid 100 per cent salary for 80 per cent of the time. However, the employees, on their part, are expected to maintain 100 per cent productivity in return.

Productivity will, of course, be measured differently from organisation to organisation, depending on the nature of the business. Some employees will be assessed in terms of the sales numbers they achieve, while others may be assessed in terms of the number of customers they have bagged or attended to and so on.

Regardless of the metric of measurement, a base line is fixed before starting on the four-day week trial.

Globally, more than 150 companies and 7,000 employees across Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the US and the UK are part of the six-month long trial taking place this year.

The positive effects of the four-day work week trial are hoped to be seen in the form of improved employee health, enhanced work-life balance, cleaner environment and better climate.

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