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Company Moves To Permanent Four-Day Week Following Productivity Increase During Trial

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Company Moves To Permanent Four-Day Week Following Productivity Increase During Trial

A company in the UK is permanently switching to a four-day working week, having seen productivity increase during a trial.

Financial recruitment firm BWD, based in Leeds, started the three-month trial in January, turning Friday into 'MyDay' with the intention of prioritising the wellbeing of employees; and as well as seeing morale improve, productivity was boosted too.

The company said its key metrics were boosted by 26 percent.

Now, staff will get a three-day weekend every weekend, with their pay unchanged.

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According to The Business Desk, James Walker, managing director of BWD, said: "I trust my people to do the job and Covid-19 has allowed me to reshape the business and take advantage of a different working pattern.

"We didn't take the decision to trial the move back in January lightly. But we trusted our employees and over the last three months the company has seen the fruits of that.

"We've seen month on month productivity increases, a more motivated workforce, and we're pleased to say our clients could not have been more supportive.

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"Our employees have completely embraced My Day and it's been great to hear what they've been getting up to - from 50 mile bike rides and fishing trips, to spending more quality time with their families."

Walker has seen the company and staff benefit from the switch. Credit: BWD
Walker has seen the company and staff benefit from the switch. Credit: BWD

Almost a fifth of UK companies are considering moving to a four-day working week post-pandemic, according to a survey by Be The Business.

The charity - which focuses on productivity in the workplace - found that 18 percent of participants were thinking about the switch, while five percent of small and medium-sized businesses - 300,000 in total - have already made the move.

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Joe Ryle, a campaigner with the 4 Day Week Campaign, said: "In the same way that the weekend and the 40-hour week was won nearly a century ago, the time has now come for a four-day, 32 hour working week for all.

"The Covid pandemic has effectively killed off the 9-5, five-day working week."

Indeed, a group of politicians and union officials from across Europe wrote a letter in November arguing that a four-day working week shift could help the economy recover after the pandemic.

The letter, which was sent to European leaders, read: "Throughout history, shorter working hours have been used during times of crisis and economic recession as a way of sharing work more equally across the economy between the unemployed and the over-employed.

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"We believe they should be deployed again now to help deal with the economic fallout of the pandemic.

"Across the world, people are reimagining a better future post Covid-19 and overwhelmingly they want a better work-life balance."

It continued: "Since the introduction of the weekend and the 8 hour day after the Great Depression in the 1930s, working hours continued to gradually decrease until around the 1980s. Since then the reduction in working hours has stalled.

"Despite promises, huge technological advances and automation have not ushered in a new era of more free time.

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"For the advancement of civilisation and the good society, now is the moment to seize the opportunity and move towards shorter working hours with no loss of pay."

Featured Image Credit: Pexels/Fauxels

Topics: Work, UK News, Business, Interesting

Jake Massey
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