· News

Four-day working week case study: Arken

Software service provider Arken has successfully moved to a four-day working week after finding staff were happier and just as productive working these hours throughout the pandemic.

Following a nine-month trial, the firm has now confirmed a four-day week for all of its full time staff.

When asked at the end of June how they would rate productivity since the switch, 76% said they felt more productive than before and 19% said they felt just as efficient as when they worked five days. 

The benefits of a four-day work week:

A boost to growth

A positive impact on the UK's carbon footprint and employee mood

Improved job satisfaciton

The firm had been in favour of a four-day week for some time but Pippa Shepherd, company head of customer engagement, said it was the first lockdown that gave them the opportunity to test the concept.

She told HR magazine: “Studies show that a four-day week boosts employee work life balance and lowers burnout without sacrificing productivity, as well as challenging gender inequality.We had been supportive of the idea for some time."

A employee testimonial highlighted more family time, an ability to do extra work in their own time, and the 'me' time allowed by an extra day off as some of the core benefits of the model.

For Shepherd, such feedback following the trial showed that they made the right decision.

She argued if the pandemic had taught the HR team anything, it was that creating a more sustainable way of working improves productivity and worker wellbeing.

“By introducing a four-day week we have been able to improve work-life balance, strengthen families, and reduce carbon emissions without sacrificing productivity, and we would urge all businesses to consider it,” she said.

A shorter working week has also changed the way staff rate their employer, as eight in ten said it has improved their view of the company, and 85% of employees said it has increased the time they are likely to stay working there.