They tried the four-day work week and it was so successful that they decided to keep it

(CNN) — A year after the conclusion of the world's largest experiment with a four-day workweek, the vast majority of participating companies were still allowing their employees to work a shorter week, and more than half of the companies had made the change permanent.

For six months, between June and December 2022, workers at 61 UK organizations worked 80% of their usual working hours, at the same pay, in return for a commitment to deliver 100% of their usual work.

At least 89% of those companies still maintain that policy, and at least 51% have made the four-day work week permanent by the end of 2023, according to a new report. a report Posted by one of the trial organizers. Two companies did not respond to the researchers who compiled the report.

The study was published on Wednesday by Autonomy, a group of experts who conducted the 2022 trial with the non-profit organization 4 Day Week Global and the 4 Day Week UK campaign in collaboration with researchers from the universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Boston. college.

The report said that the effects of reducing working hours were greatly beneficial to employees and their companies.

At the end of the experiment, employees reported better physical and mental health, greater work-life balance, overall life satisfaction, and less burnout. These improvements were maintained a year later.

“The key point is that the strong results after six months are not due to new or short-term effects,” said Juliette Shore, a professor of sociology at Boston College, who surveyed employees at Boston College. “These effects are real and long-term.” Companies that participated in the experiment.

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Directors and CEOs from 28 organizations also agreed to answer additional questions. They all said the four-day work week had a positive impact on their business. Staff turnover was reduced in half of the organisations, almost a third said the policy had significantly improved staffing, and 82% reported beneficial effects on staff wellbeing.

The Autonomy report also highlights approaches organizations have used to maintain a four-day workweek, including reviewing rules around meetings, 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 authors wrote.

Nearly half of the 61 organizations that participated in the 2022 trial operate in the marketing, advertising, professional services and non-profit sectors. The remainder includes a variety of industries, including construction, manufacturing, retail, healthcare, and arts and entertainment.

Calls to shorten the working week have multiplied in recent years. These calls have increased after millions of employees switched to remote work during the pandemic and stopped traveling, saving time and money.

There have been several trials of the four-day work week around the world, including a trial in 2022 at 33 companies, with most workers based in the US and Ireland.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on February 23, 2024.

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