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Many UK Companies Trialling A Four-Day Working Week Next Month

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Many UK Companies Trialling A Four-Day Working Week Next Month

We're now less than a month away from the beginning of a potentially game-changing four-day work week trail in the UK, which gets underway on the 1st June.

Around 60 firms and 3,000 employees in total have signed up for the trial, which will run for six months.

Being conducted by campaign group 4 Day Week Global, it will see all employees maintain the same pay they are on now, but with an extra weekday off.

The hope is that results from similar trials around the world will be replicated around the UK as, in many of them, productivity actually increased when working days were reduced to four.

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Businesses involved in the pilot will work closely alongside research groups to assess just how much of an impact the change makes – positively or negatively.

Changes in productivity will be noted, as well as the overall impact it has on the well-being of employees, the Mirror reports.

In essence, workers involved in this summer’s pilot will be given one extra paid day off work per week, meaning that no earnings will be lost compared to the current standard. While currently set to last just six months, it could be extended by the respective companies, should it prove to be successful.

Officer workers shake hands. Credit: Alamy
Officer workers shake hands. Credit: Alamy
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Companies involved in the potentially revolutionary trial include mobile games developer Hutch, Yo Telecom, Pressure Drop Brewing and Platten Fish and Chips.

One of the most successful trials of this nature internationally took place in Japan back in 2019.

Microsoft Japan decided to implement a four-day week, giving employees five Fridays off consecutively.

This led to a remarkable 40% productivity increase, with workers even taking less time off work and reporting that they were happier overall.

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Joe O’Connor, the Pilot Programme Manager for 4 Day Week Global, recently told The Independent: "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."

The trial is set to last for around six months. Credit: Alamy
The trial is set to last for around six months. Credit: Alamy
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Brendan Burchill, from Autonomy – a research company working closely with 4 Day Week Global – added: “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: Alamy

Topics: UK News, Politics, Business

Tom Fenton
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