The four-day week has been tested in a pilot program with over 70 companies in the UK. Most of them claimed to have a work design with fewer days at the end of the experiment.
In the three-month project, expected to last six months in total, employees worked 80% of their regular hours and kept the same pay.
Preliminary data show that, so far, productivity has been maintained or improved in most companies.
However, some traditional organizations still say the transition is “complicated”.
The trial is being carried out by a group campaigning for a shorter working week, the 4-day week, in collaboration with the Autonomous Research Institute and researchers from the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford.
“We’re learning that for many it’s a very smooth transition and for some there are some understandable barriers – particularly among those with relatively fixed or flexible practices, systems or cultures dating back to the last century,” says Joe O’Connor. , chief executive of 4 Week Global, which runs the program in several countries.
Of the 73 companies in the trial, 41 companies responded to the preliminary survey. About 86% of respondents said they would stick to the four-day-a-week policy after the experiment.
Most companies said the change worked well for their business, while 95% said productivity remained the same or improved over the shorter week.
More than 3,300 employees will be paid one day a week during the trial period.
The 4-day week says employees have benefited from lower travel costs and less spending on childcare or childcare – it said professionals with two children would save around £269.36 a month.
“A four-day week without a pay cut will be critical to supporting workers’ lifestyles for years to come,” said Will Strong, Autonomy’s director of research.
Waterwise, which campaigns to reduce the amount of water used in the UK, is one of the participants in the trial. According to the company, its team took some getting used to, but are now “very happy”.
“It’s not about flowers at first,” says Nikki Russell, managing director of Waterwise. “But not a big change. Some weeks are easier than others, but we’re handling it better now than we were in the beginning.”
“Of course we loved the extra time and went to work refreshed. It was very beneficial for our well-being and we are already more productive,” says the director.
The UK trial is part of a global project that includes trials in the US, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
Source: With information from BBC News/g1
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