Four-day workweek in the UK… pipe dream or genuine possibility? Last year, as much as our hearts may have floated towards the idea of the latter, our heads would have steered back in the direction of “not very likely”.
Since then, we’ve heard all about the four-day workweek trial taking place in the UK, with firms invited to sign up to put the idea into practice. A pilot scheme of 61 companies was led by 4 Day Work Week Global took place for six months last year, and now the UK four day workweek trial results are in…
Is the UK getting four-day workweek?
That’s obviously the question on all our lips right now. Sadly, the most simple answer is still no – though the results of the four-day workweek trial are extremely encouraging, so who knows what the future holds?
While the entire UK might not be getting a four-day working week just yet, the vast majority of companies who took part in the scheme will continue with the structures implemented during the trial.
Data found that 56 of the 61 companies (92%) who signed up are going to keep going with the scheme, with 30% stating that the policy is now permanent.
Which companies have a four-day week?
61 companies took part in the four-day workweek trial, with 56 now continuing with methods that they learned. Companies involved include the Royal Society Of Biology, Citizen’s Advice, Atom Bank, Awin and many more.
Speaking to Sky News, Chief Executive of The Royal Society Of Biology Mark Downs said that productivity had increased following the trial, and even a decline in the number of sick days taken.
“There’s been a decline in the number of sick days taken during the period of the trial.
“Before the trial, on average, each person would take four or five sick days per year – that’s down to less than two.”
Companies were required to ensure that a 32-hour week also meant no reduction in salary.
How likely is a UK four-day workweek?
It’s tough to say. This study has been described as a real breakthrough, and has been passed onto parliament for consideration. However, there are still reservations on the logistics of making the policy widespread.
Detractors will point to the impact on the economy, as well as it meaning that some companies will require workers to fit more work into a smaller period of time.
But, for those in favour of the four-day workweek, this study can only be viewed as a success, and with 92% of those taking part backing the scheme, there’s no way a more widespread introduction can be ruled out.