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Four-day week: enthusiasm for pilot project in Great Britain

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Higher productivity, lower sick leave: A pilot project for a four-day week in Great Britain was so successful that most of the companies involved want to stick with it.

Only four days of work with full wages: After a six-month pilot project in Great Britain, more than four out of five of the companies involved want to stick to the concept. After the end of the test phase, 56 of 61 employers said they wanted to keep the four-day week. 18 even confirmed that the concept had already been introduced permanently. This emerges from an analysis published on Tuesday by researchers from Boston and Cambridge, who accompanied the project scientifically and conducted in-depth interviews with those involved.

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Four-day week increases productivity

“Before the project began, many questioned whether we would see an increase in productivity that would offset the reduction in working time – but that’s exactly what we found,” said Brendan Burchell of the University of Cambridge, according to a statement. According to the analysis, the sales of the companies involved increased by 1.4 percent on average during the test phase in the second half of last year.

Sick days fell by around two thirds (65 percent) during the test period and the number of employees who left the company during this time fell by more than half (57 percent). Around four out of ten employees stated that they felt less stressed than before the project began.

Companies from the financial sector, IT and construction, as well as gastronomy and healthcare took part in the British trial. The companies involved employ a total of around 2,900 people. Some companies introduced a three-day weekend across the board, while others distributed employees’ days off throughout the week or linked them to goals.

Other countries are also experimenting with the four-day week, including Ireland, Iceland, Belgium and Australia. Some German companies are also testing similar models.

Source: Stern

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