April 23, 2024

100 companies offer a permanent four-day week

Working fewer days but getting the same pay: this business model currently dominates the British economy. Thousands of employees will benefit.

The four-day working week is on the rise in Great Britain: one hundred companies have spoken out in favor of the working model as a permanent solution. According to this, all employees must work one less day a week – with the same pay. British media talk about “a milestone in the campaign for a fundamental change in the British business ethos.”

The British newspaper “The Guardian” reported that the 100 companies employ about 2,600 people in Great Britain who are expected to benefit from the regulation. Proponents argued that the five-day week was a relic of an earlier economic era. The four-day week encourages companies to be more productive – they can achieve the same output with fewer working hours. For some companies, this model has proven to be a useful way to attract and retain employees.

“Revolutionary initiative”

The two largest companies to join the initiative are Atombank, a UK retail bank, and Awin, a global marketing company. Both employ about 450 people who have already had their hours reduced.

Adam Ross, managing director of Owen, told The Guardian that introducing the four-day week was a “revolutionary initiative” in the company’s history. Over the past year and a half, there has been a huge increase in employee well-being and health. Customer service and customer relations have also benefited from this, Ross says.

The majority of companies are convinced by the model

The investigation was initiated by the “4 Day Week Global” organization in cooperation with the research center Autonomy and the “4 Day Week” campaign. In addition to Boston College, researchers from the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford also provide scientific support. Similar trials are currently underway in Ireland, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Israel. Spain and Scotland are also planning similar studies.

“We will analyze how workers respond to an extra day in terms of stress and fatigue, job and life satisfaction, health, sleep, energy consumption, travel and many other aspects of life,” said Juliette Schor, a professor of sociology at Boston College. And the principal researcher on the Guardian project.

In September, 88% of participating companies reported that the four-day week worked well at this stage of the trial. According to The Guardian, 95% of companies said that productivity had either remained the same or increased since the trial began.

Compatibility between work and leisure time

Most companies that have officially decided to work a four-day week work in the service sector, such as the technology, events, or marketing industries.

Joe O'Connor, managing director of 4 Day Week Global, said the pandemic has shown companies what really matters in the fight for the best employees: the balance between work and leisure. “More and more companies are realizing that they can gain a competitive advantage by reducing working hours,” says O'Connor.