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Four-day Working Week – the Future of Work?

20 January 2022

In our Employment Survey 2021: Focus on Flexibility, we looked at a number of flexible working developments – including the notion of a four-day working week. A pilot scheme has now been launched, coordinated by 4 Day Week Global in partnership with the UK think tank Autonomy, the 4 Day Week UK Campaign and researchers at Cambridge University, Boston College and Oxford University. This pilot is to run a 6-month trial within the UK of a 4-day working week, with no loss of pay. The trial is intended to run from June to December 2022, with the deadline for organisations to sign up to the first phase being 31 March 2022.

4 Day Week Global have reported that 63% of businesses found it easier to attract and retain talent with a 4 day work week, and that 78% of employees with a 4 day work week were happier and less stressed. With many employers focussing on talent retention (in light of the pandemic-related “Great Resignation”) and employee wellbeing, in the face of rising stress, anxiety and depression cases, some may feel the timing is right to consider alternative ways of working. 

A previous trial carried out in Iceland between 2015 and 2019 was heralded as an overwhelming success – the results from this new trial will therefore be eagerly awaited to see whether the same success is seen in the UK.

Information relating to the pilot (including how to sign up) can be found here.

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