A trial of a four-day working week in the UK, the largest of its kind in the world, has shown incredible results, with reduced stress and illness amongst many of its benefits.
The trial involved 61 companies across a range of sectors in the UK with 2,900 staff taking part. The companies were required to reduce working hours for all employees by 20 per cent- all without reducing wages. Now the results from the pilot scheme will be presented to MPs in the UK,
The trial ran for six months from June last year, and research was conducted by academics at the University of Cambridge and the US’s Boston College and co-ordinated by non-profit organisation 4 Day Week Global, with think tank Autonomy and the 4 Day Week Campaign.
The results of the trial saw a decrease in anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and burnout among the participating staff. Thirty-nine percent of employees reported being less stressed. There was also a significant decrease in the number of sick days taken during the trial, which dropped by around two thirds.
Additionally, balancing care responsibilities became easier for more staff. The report also noted a 57 per cent decrease in the number of staff leaving participating companies compared to the same period the previous year, despite the “great resignation” period.
91% of companies plan to continue the 4-day work week
91%- 56 out of the 61 companies- confirmed they will continue with the four-day working week, while 18 of them have made the policy a permanent change.
The study also found that companies increased their revenues by a huge 35% during the trial, compared to the same period in 2021.
Joe Ryle, director of the 4 Day Week Campaign, said that, “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”.
Dr David Frayne, a research associate at the University of Cambridge, said: “We feel really encouraged by the results, which showed the many ways companies were turning the four-day week from a dream into realistic policy, with multiple benefits.”