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60 Different UK Firms All Trialling Four-Day Weeks

Abbi Murray

Published 
| Last updated 

60 Different UK Firms All Trialling Four-Day Weeks

60 firms across the UK are set to offer their employees the opportunity to trial a four-day work week, all while receiving the same pay. 

The trial, led by 4 Day Week Global, has been organised by various academics hailing from Oxford, Cambridge and Boston College in the US, and will run from June to December of this year. 

More than 3,000 employees from various organisations will be required to complete their usual amount of work, and up to 35 hours each week, but split over four days rather than five. 

A number of businesses and charities have signed up to the scheme, including the Royal Society of Biology, London brewery Pressure Drop, a Manchester-based medical devices firm, and even a fish and chip shop in Norfolk. 

The scheme has been met with mixed reviews, with some campaigners suggesting the move will create a better work-life balance and boost productivity. 

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

However, critics believe it could lead to more stress in the workplace as employees attempt to squeeze more work into fewer hours, as well as leaving firms with higher costs. 

The pandemic has undoubtedly changed the working world, providing employees the opportunity to work from home with more flexible hours. 

Joe O'Connor, chief executive of 4 Day Week Global, said there was no way to ‘turn the clock back’ to the pre-pandemic world, meaning we should find and embrace new ways to adapt. 

Speaking to the Guardian, he said: “Increasingly, managers and executives are embracing a new model of work which focuses on quality of outputs, not quantity of hours. 

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

“Workers have emerged from the pandemic with different expectations around what constitutes a healthy life-work balance.” 

The scheme is not the first of its kind, as a number of companies have already trialled a four-day work week. 

Corporations such as Unilever, Atom Bank and Panasonic have all adopted a similar policy in the past. 

Researchers have previously argued that a four-day work week would encourage staff to work more efficiently for their employees. 

Mark Downs, CEO of the Royal Society of Biology, said he decided to take part in the trial to see if the change would help attract staff in an 'incredibly competitive' labour market. 

Alongside the UK, similar experiments are set to be held in the USA, Canada, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, with schemes already being conducted in Spain and Scotland. 

Featured Image Credit: Pressure Drop Brewery/Alamy

Topics: UK News, News, Money

Abbi Murray
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