A large majority of UK companies which participated in a recent four-day workweek trial held over six months said that it delivered a sharp drop in worker turnover, cut absenteeism and maintained productivity. They were so pleased with the result that almost all of them intend to keep the four-day system in place.
The study was organised by 4 Day Week Global, an advocacy group which helps businesses pilot four-day workweeks. Their study in the UK was the largest one yet, with 61 companies taking part from a wide range of industries, spanning banks to restaurants.
In total 2,900 workers participated in the study, each of them being given a paid day off during the week to assess whether working fewer hours made them more effective.
Results from the study revealed that burnout rates dropped by a significant 71 per cent, while high productivity and performance were maintained. It also found that the majority of workers found it easier to balance their work and home responsibilities.
Ultimately, both employer and employee benefited from the system.
Out of the 61 businesses which participated in the study, 52 decided to continue testing the four-day workweek, out of which, 19 of them decided to permanently adopt the practice.
A similarly successful study was held in Iceland with 2,500 workers and it led to the overwhelming majority of the workers in the country adopting reduced working hours of 35-36 hours a week.
The four-day workweek concept was also tested out in other countries such as Japan, Spain, Germany and New Zealand.
While France has a five-day workweek, working hours are capped at 35 hours a week.
The idea of a four-day workweek hit the mainstream during the COVID-19 pandemic when businesses had to become much more flexible to ensure they could continue operating independently of the office. During the last General Election held in 2022, the Nationalist Party which currently sits in opposition had proposed creating incentives for businesses to adopt a four-day workweek.
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