March 2, 2024

The four-day week has been successfully tested in British companies

A four-day-a-week pilot project in Great Britain was a success: more than 90 percent of companies that participated either wanted to maintain the working time model or planned to continue doing so.

In the British version of the four-day week, the 100-80-100 rule applies: employees receive 100 percent of their salary for 80 percent of the time — according to this model, a four-day work week — with 100 percent of the amount of work they continue to do must To deal with him. The project was implemented by the non-profit organization 4 Day Week Global, the 4 Day Week Campaign, and the research center Autonomy in different countries such as Great Britain, the USA and Ireland. 4 Day Week Global has now published the results from Great Britain and a global overview.

More than 60 companies and nearly 3,000 employees participated in the British arm of the project, which ran from June to November last year. There were 91 companies and 3,500 employees worldwide – and the largest proportion of companies involved in the project so far were British. In Great Britain, 92% of companies want to continue a four-day week after the project ends; Worldwide there are about the same number (91 percent). Of the five UK companies that have not yet introduced the new working time model, two are extending the testing phase and three are pausing the project. The reasons why these five companies do not want to adopt the model immediately are not clear.

What are the results?

During the testing phase, there were some interesting insights gained by surveying 70% of participating UK companies. The companies gave their experience working four days a week an average of 8.3 out of 10 points. Productivity and performance within the company received an average of 7.5 out of 10 points.

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In addition, the number of employees leaving their companies during the four-day-a-week project decreased by 57 percent. 15% of employees surveyed said they would not return to working five days a week even if they received higher salaries in a new job.

Improve health and reduce stress

The reasons seem to be, among other things, improved mental and physical health and decreased stress. 71% of employees said they were less burned out than they were before the project. 93% were less stressed, 43% saw improvements in their mental health and 37% in their physical health. Incidentally, these improvements apply more to women than to men, because female employees benefited more than male employees in the areas of burnout, life and job satisfaction, mental health, and less time commuting.

However, there is one area in which men experienced greater changes as a result of the pilot project than women. In comparison, the time they spent caring for children increased by twice as much as women (27 percent to 13 percent). Dale Whelehan, CEO of 4 Day Week Global and behavioral researcher, comments on this development according to the company statement: “It is pleasing that the load of non-work duties seems balanced.” When it comes to care work, 60 percent of all employees involved said it had become easier to combine this with their paid work.