Following Iceland’s success, 60 organisations in the United Kingdom have signed up for the world’s biggest four-day week trial, in which employees will receive the same wages for fewer hours.
six-month pilot scheme to study impact of four-day working week on companies and employees alike
Seems like we’ve been hearing about a four-day week for years, but for 3,000 employees in the UK it’s about to become a reality – at least for six months. Beginning in June, the trial will measure the impact of reduced hours on productivity, environment, and gender equality. 3,000 workers will be taking part, working one extra day off to relax on their regular pay.
Those taking part will work one day less per week while receiving the same pay
I case you missed it, last month EuroNews reported that sixty UK companies and organisations had signed up to take part in the biggest ever four-day week trial, which will begin in June and end in January 2023.
The trial is being organised by 4 Day Week Global, along with the think tank Autonomy, the 4 Day Week Campaign, and researchers at Cambridge University, Oxford University and Boston College who will be collecting and analysing the results.
Researchers will work with each organisation to measure the impact of the reduced hours on productivity, and the well-being of its workers, as well as the impact on the environment and gender equality. Those taking part will work one day less a week while receiving the same pay.
According to the organisations running the pilot, employees are expected to follow "the 100:80:100 model – 100% of the pay for 80% of the time, in exchange for a commitment to maintain at least 100% productivity".
Organisations taking part include the Royal Society of Biology, a brewing company called Pressure Drop, and a fish & chip shop.
The previous largest study of this kind took place in Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland, in which more than 2,500 workers were involved. It was hailed as an "overwhelming success," with workers reporting being less stressed, reduced risk of burnout, and there were no negative effects on productivity or services.
Conducted in 2015 and 2016, the trials led to material changes in the country. Last year, 86% of workers in Iceland were either working shorter weeks or had contracts that would enable them to reduce their hours.
At the time, Will Stronge, Director of Research at Autonomy said: "This study shows that the world’s largest-ever trial of a shorter working week in the public sector was by all measures an overwhelming success".
The trial will run alongside similar pilot schemes taking place in Ireland, the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Why Trial a 4 Day Week?
What is a 4 Day Week anyway?
Adopting a four-day work week is a business improvement strategy centered on working smarter rather than longer, and investing in the wellbeing of the most important asset to any business – your people.
4 Day Week advocate for the 100-80-100 model – 100% of the pay, 80% of the time, but critically in exchange for 100% of the productivity.
A 4 Day Week can improve:
- PRODUCTIVITY –shift your business away from measuring based on hours worked, and towards measuring based on results. The four-daywork week has been proven to deliver increased productivity in businesses all over the world in a broad range of industries.
- WELLBEING –improve the work-life balance of your employees and deliver transformational benefits in their daily lives, while improving physical and mental health, and reducing levels of burnout, stress, sick leave, and absenteeism. The four-day work week is shown to result in happier employees, with higher levels of job satisfaction and brand loyalty.
- ENGAGEMENT – create a more energized, efficient, empowered, and motivated workforce, which is focused on organisational priorities, delivering outputs, and achieving key targets, rather than on the time spent at the office, at the desk or on the clock.
- RECRUITMENT –give your business a competitive edge when it comes to attracting the best talent, and increase your pool of potential recruitment candidates, as well as helping to retain your best employees and cut down on unplanned attrition.
- SUSTAINABILITY – reduce the carbon footprint of your business through reduced commuting and reduced energy use, as well as enabling more sustainable lifestyle changes among your workforce outside of work.
- GENDER EQUALITY –enable a better distribution of caring responsibilities between mothers and fathers, even the playing field by reducing barriers to women achieving senior positions in work, and reduce childcare costs.
- INNOVATION –future proof your business, in response to the changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the fourth industrial revolution of AI, automation and digital technologies. Being an early adapter and a market leader will establish you as an innovative, progressive, forward-thinking business that stands out from your competition.
A hundred years ago, we moved from working six day weeks to five, and we’re overdue for an update. The 4 day work week is a reduction in the work week from a standard 40 hours to 32 hours for the same pay and benefits. This reduction has been proven to work for employees and employers.
COVID-19 made it clear we can find a better balance between work and life. 85% of U.S. adults already approve of moving to a 4 day week. Let’s make the move together. Learn more