Four-day week trial deemed a success

The world’s largest trial of a four-day week has been declared aresounding success’ after a significant majority of the employers that took part opted to continue with the new working pattern. 

In total, 61 UK companies covering several industry sectors were involved in the six-month trial which ran from June to December last year. Firms involved in the pilot scheme had to ensure there was no reduction in wages for the 2,900 employees who took part in trialling the 32-hour working week.  

The results of the pilot, recently published by think-tank Autonomy, the University of Cambridge and Boston College in the US, showed that 56 of the participants (92%) are set to continue operating a four-day week, with 18 confirming it as a permanent policy change. The report assessing the trial’s impact described it as a ‘resounding success’ with ‘extensive benefits’, particularly in relation to employee wellbeing. 

Some of the main benefits included: 71% of employees reporting lower levels of burnout; a 57% decrease in the number of staff quitting roles and a 65% reduction in sick days. Other key business metrics were also positive with companies’ revenues, for instance, rising by 1.4% on average across the trial period.