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Four-Day Working Week To Be Trialled In The UK

Four-Day Working Week To Be Trialled In The UK

Top researchers will crunch the numbers on whether a four-day week is better for both productivity and employee welfare

A trial that will allow employees to work just four days each week has launched today in the UK.

If you're just getting stuck into a bleary-eyed Monday morning on the job, perhaps you could allow yourself to at least day-dream about getting involved in such a scheme.

Basically, the idea is that company employees will work for just 80 percent of their normal week at 100 percent of their pay to see what impact it has on productivity, as well as employee welfare.

It’s called the 100: 80: 100 model – you get full pay for 80 percent of the work, but must agree to work at 100 percent productivity.

Sounds fair enough, right?


The six-month pilot programme is being performed by 4 Day Week Global along with think tank Autonomy, the 4 Day Week UK campaign and researchers from Cambridge University, Oxford University, and Boston College.

Participating businesses and companies will receive support from those organising it that includes access to experts and pioneers within the field, mentoring, and research by top academics.

The plan is to get 30 businesses on board and mirror programmes that are planned elsewhere in the world this year.

Then, the boffins will crunch the numbers to ascertain what effect the four-day working week had on productivity for the business, as well as the wellbeing of its workers and impact on the environment and gender equality.

One of the businesses involved is Edinburgh-based Canon Medical Research Europe, which employs 140 people.

Their president Ken Sutherland said: “We recognise that working patterns and the focus that we all give to our work-life balance has changed substantially during the pandemic.

“As a responsive employer we are always looking at how we can adapt our working practices to ensure that employees find their time with us is meaningful, fulfilling and productive.

“For this reason, we’re keen to pilot a four-day week to see if it can work for us.”

Other studies in the past claim to have evidenced that a four-day week is better for both productivity and worker wellbeing, although there is undoubtedly more research to do.


Joe O’Connor, the Pilot Programme Manager for 4 Day Week Global, said: "More and more businesses are moving to productivity focused strategies to enable them to reduce worker hours without reducing pay. We are excited by the growing momentum and interest in our pilot program and in the four-day week more broadly.

"The four-day week challenges the current model of work and helps companies move away from simply measuring how long people are ‘at work’, to a sharper focus on the output being produced. 2022 will be the year that heralds in this bold new future of work."

Brendan Burchill, from Autonomy, said: “With the social and environmental benefits of the shorter working week becoming clearer, grassroots support more widespread, and technology available to maintain productivity, the time has come for more organisations to take the leap and unravel the practicalities.

“This scheme has tremendous potential to progress from conversations about the general advantages of a shorter working week to focussed discussions on how organisations can implement it in the best possible way.”

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Topics: UK News, World News