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Businesses hail "transformative" four-day week pilot

All companies that participated in a four-day working week pilot across the US, Ireland and Australia are planning to stick with the reduced working week.

The results of the pilot come as the UK anticipates the full results of its four-day week trial, run by 4 Day Week Global, which involves 70 companies employing approximately 3,300 workers across the country, and follows news that 100 other companies, including Atom Bank and marketing company Awin, have shifted to a four-day week.

The global pilot scheme reporting results today involved 30 companies which all reported increased revenue for the six months, rising 8% during the trial, and 38% when compared to the same six month period in 2021.

Employees taking part experienced reduced absenteeism and resignations and reductions in stress and burnout. The research also found significant declines in the duration and frequency of commuting. 

Four-day week in the UK:

Why the four-day week won't work

What to expect from the UK's four-day week trial

What to expect from the UK's four-day week trial

Overall, 97% of employees wanted to continue with a four-day week, with 70% saying their next job would need to come with a 10-50% pay rise to entice them back into a five-day schedule.

Jon Leland, chief strategy officer at crowdfunding platform Kickstarter said how much of an impact the trial had on his organisation.

He said: "The four-day week has been transformative for our business and our people. Staff are more focused, more engaged and more dedicated, helping us hit our goals better than before.

"Greater employee retention and faster hiring has been surprisingly powerful in driving improved business outcomes too. We're achieving more as an organisation, while giving people time to start new creative projects, rest, and be with their families. It's a true win-win."

Companies rated the trial a nine out of 10.

Andrew Rose is director at AKA Case Management which has taken part in the UK's four-day week trial and said it had been a success for the consultancy firm, yet reducing working days wasn't without challenge.

He told HR magazine: "People found it challenging at times in terms of that adaptation because we're talking about a behaviour change. You're changing your work and some people have been very honest that to begin with, they were trying to kind of cram in all their hours into four days, but then have realised that that's not what we wanted them to do.

"They've made that adjustment and they just said it's going to be revolutionary for them going forward."

Ultimately, Rose added, success of the scheme comes down to motivation.

He said: "It's down to people's attitudes – if they want it to work, they can make it work. It really does come down to the attitude of people in the organisation, and a lot of that comes down to the leaders in that space, because they're the ones that need to model the behaviour to everybody else."