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UK's Four-Day Working Week Pilot Starts Next Week

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UK's Four-Day Working Week Pilot Starts Next Week

A potentially game-changing four-day working week trial is officially launching in the UK this month, with thousands of workers taking part over a six-month period.

Coming into full force from next week, the pilot – dubbed one of the biggest of its kind to date – will see employees bag a permanent three-day weekend every week, without dropping their pay. Sounds like the dream, doesn't it?

More than 60 firms and 3,000 employees across the UK are signed up to the pilot, which is helmed by non-profit 4 Day Week Global.

Staff will work for 100 percent of their salary but for only 80 percent of hours. Credit: Alamy
Staff will work for 100 percent of their salary but for only 80 percent of hours. Credit: Alamy
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Essentially, the idea is that workers will work for 100 percent of their salary but for only 80 percent of hours, with the hopes it will result in 100 percent productivity.

During the trial, researchers will monitor the levels of productivity as well as worker wellbeing, the environmental impact and gender equality.

A whole host of firms are signed on, including the likes of Yo Telecom, Royal Society of Biology, Pressure Drop Brewing and Platten Fish and Chips.

The scheme launches next week. Credit: Pixabay
The scheme launches next week. Credit: Pixabay
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Joe O’Connor, the pilot programme manager for 4 Day Week Global, earlier 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 pilot joins a growing number of similar schemes around the globe as the traditional Monday to Friday model of work is increasingly called into question.

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Experts will measure productivity levels. Credit: Alamy
Experts will measure productivity levels. Credit: Alamy

Countries including Spain, Iceland and New Zealand have also taken part in similar trials, while Microsoft Japan saw a 40 percent increase in staff productivity after implementing its own four-day week back in 2019.

"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," Brendan Burchill from think tank Autonomy – a research company working with 4 Day Week Global – added.

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

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: UK News

Chloe Rowland
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