The 4-day working week in the UK was a success

In 2022, several UK organizations joined a global trial of a 4-day working week. A year after this test ended, a large portion of the companies that participated continued to let their workers keep the week shorter, and more than half of the companies accepted the change permanently.

Between June and December 2022, 61 companies in the UK implemented a new working system whereby they allowed their employees to work 80% of their usual working hours, while maintaining the same salary with the aim of making them commit to giving 100% of their usual working hours. Its performance. According to a report prepared by the experiment's organizers, 89% of companies maintained this policy and 51% made it permanent by the end of last year.

Autonomy is a group of experts who, in collaboration with the non-profit organization 4 Day Week Global and in collaboration with researchers from the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Boston College, implemented the 4 Day Week UK campaign and trial in 2022 during In February, Autonomy published the effects demonstrated by this work trial Regarding the reduction of working hours and the multiple benefits obtained for both employees and the companies themselves.

According to the report, when the experiment ended, many employees reported enjoying better physical and mental health, as well as greater balance between their careers and work lives. In addition, they commented that they felt more satisfied with their lives and experienced less work-related burnout. It should be noted that all these advantages were maintained even a year after the end of the experiment. According to a Boston College sociology professor who conducted in-person surveys of companies that were part of the experiment, Juliet Schor expressed, “The key point is that the strong results after six months are not due to novelty or effects on society.” Short-term. “These effects are real and long-lasting.”

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Several managers and executives from participating organizations answered a series of questions stating that the 4-day work week had a positive impact on their companies. In addition, among the various benefits obtained, a reduction in employee turnover, notable improvements in the recruitment process and positive effects on workers' well-being stood out. In the report published by Autonomy, the various methods used by companies to continue implementing the 4-day working week were revealed, including reviewing regulations related to meetings and business communications and setting priorities.

“It has become clear from this study that the four-day working week is not just a fad – businesses across the UK have been able to ‘make it work’,” the report authors stated. It is worth noting that nearly half of the total institutions that participated in the experiment in 2022 work in the fields of marketing, advertising, professional services, and non-profit sectors. The rest of the companies are spread across various industries including construction, manufacturing, healthcare, arts, retail and entertainment.

Calls for shorter working weeks have increased in recent years. These initiatives multiplied after millions of employees were moved to remote work during the pandemic. Since then, many experiments have been carried out seeking to implement a shorter working week.

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