The results of the trial showed lower stress and illness rates in employees
In the UK, a pilot scheme involving 61 companies in different sectors that experimented with the four-day working week, turned out to be a success. Participating companies are even continuing the practice of working shorter weeks since their employees showed lower rates of stress and illness.
In January 2022, sixty-one companies in the UK started in a four-day working week trial in which they would give workers one-hundred percent of their pay in exchange for eighty percent of their time. The expectations of workers was that they should commit to giving one-hundred percent of their productivity. Researchers would monitor the results and check whether or not workers and companies would actually benefit from the trial. Now, over a year later, the results of the trial are in and it turns out that the four-day working week is a “major breakthrough”.
According to The National News, 2,900 employees were involved in the trial. Among the participants, there was a significant decrease in the measured stress rates. There was also a major drop in the number of sick days that employees took during the trial. On top of that, there was a decrease in the amount of anxiety, sleep problems and feelings of burnout that the employees experienced. Joe Ryle, director of the 4 Day Week Campaign (partner in the research), told The National News: “…across a wide variety of different sectors of the economy, these incredible results show that the four-day week with no loss of pay really works … Surely the time has now come to begin rolling it out across the country.”
The four-day working week didn’t just prove to be beneficial for the employees but for the companies too. Revenue increased by 1.4 percent during the trial and was thirty-five percent higher than the previous year’s revenue for the same period of time. Some employees said that workloads were increased because of the shorter work week and that they experienced less sociability in their place of work. But researchers said that overall, the trial was a “major breakthrough”. The research concludes: “the benefits of a shorter working week for no reduction in pay are now both well-known and well-evidenced: employees are happier and healthier, and the [organizations] they work for are often more productive, more efficient, and retain their staff more readily”.
Read more: Find out: how many of our work hours do we spend slacking off?
Source: The National News | Image: Ian Dooley