Time for a four-day working week?

Businesses in several countries across Europe have been taking part in a four-day working week trial. The results are now in – but was it a success?

What was the four-day working week trial?

The four-day working week trial was a six-month pilot scheme in which 33 companies and almost 1,000 employees worked four days instead of five, with no loss of pay. Coordinated by 4-Day Week Global, Boston College, and Cambridge University, it was run s alongside similar initiatives in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United States.

How did the four-day working week trial work?

The trial was based on the 100-80-100 model. This means that employees maintain 100% of their output while working 80% of their previous schedule (four days instead of five), and make 100% of their pay.

What were the results of the four-day working week trial?

Once the six-month trial was complete, the companies that had taken part were asked to fill out a survey on their experience. They were also asked whether they would continue with a four-day week.

  • 27 of the 33 participating companies completed the questionnaire
  • 18 of the 27 companies said they’re likely to carry on the four-day working week beyond the six-month trial
  • None of the companies said they’d definitely go back to five days
  • The average satisfaction score given by companies for the trial was 9 out of 10
  • The average satisfaction score given by employees for the trial was 9.1 out of 10
  • Employees reported that a four-day week made for a better work/life
  • Employees reported a positive shift in mental health and showed fewer signs of burnout, fatigue, and stress

So it’s all good for employees, but what about the bottom line for businesses?

Six companies gave enough data over the six months to show that revenue increased by 8.14% by the end of the trial. There was actually a 37.55% year-on-year increase in revenue.

On this evidence, a four-day week seems like a win-win.

What are the pros and cons of a four-day working week?

According to a survey from Reed, the job recruitment experts, 80% of people in the UK would prefer to work a four-day week. It sounds great, but it can’t all be positives (nothing ever is), so we’ve listed some of the pros and cons:

What are the possible advantages of a four-day working week?

  • Better work/life balance
  • Improved morale and fewer absences
  • Helps recruitment and staff retention

What are the possible disadvantages of a four-day working week?

  • It doesn’t suit all industries
  • It doesn’t suit all workers
  • It can increase running and recruitment costs

How can a conference call help with productivity?

The pandemic made us all reevaluate the point of the 9-to-5 working day, and the five-day working week is being questioned, along with the need to spend every working hour in the office. If you or your employees work from home, using a reliable conference call provider can cut out unnecessary trips to the office.

With ConferenceCall.co.uk you only need a mobile or landline to set up a call with up to 100 participants. Work smarter.

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