Is This The End Of The 5-Day Week?

14th Mar 2023

The 4-day workweek trial 

The results from the 4-day workweek report tell us that the UK’s pilot was a huge success. The pilot involved 61 companies and around 2,900 workers, the world’s largest 4-day week trial to date. 

To avoid any biased data, it’s important to note that companies participating in the trial were from various sectors, whilst varying in size and headcount.

4-day workweek pilot data 

We’ve summarised some of the data drawn from the 4-day workweek pilot to show you the impact and benefits:

  • 92% of the participating employers are sticking with the four-day week
  • Company revenue rose by 1.4% on average
  • 96% of workers prefer the four-day week
  • Employee stress levels dropped by 39%
  • Employee burnout rates fell by 71%
  • 54% of workers felt a reduction in negative emotions
  • 60% of employees with care responsibilities saw an improvement to their work-life balance, and 62% reported a positive impact to their social lives
  • 48% of employees feel more satisfied than when they first started
  • Sick days plummeted by 65%
  • Staff resignations dropped by 57%
By the end of the trial, 46% of workers said they’d only accept a 5-day week job if they received a pay increase, and 15% said that no amount of money could entice them to return to a 5-day schedule.

What does the 4-day workweek trial show us?

One size doesn’t fit all, so participating firms designed individual policies tailored to factors such as: their industry; organisational challenges; departmental structures; and company culture. This means a variety of 4-day weeks were created, from the classic ‘Friday off’ model to alternative structures like ‘staggered’, ‘decentralised’, ‘annualised’, and ‘conditional’.

One of the key benefits of a 4-day workweek is increased employee satisfaction and well-being. Employees who work shorter workweeks have reported feeling less stressed and burned out, which can lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction. 

Another benefit of a 4-day workweek is improved work-life balance. Having an extra day off can give employees more time to spend with their families, pursue hobbies or interests, or engage in self-care activities. This can lead to a more motivated and engaged workforce, in turn having a positive impact on companies. 

It is important to note that not all businesses can implement a 4-day workweek, and the results of these trials may not apply to all industries or types of work. Some businesses may also face challenges, but the data so far speaks for itself. 

What does this mean for the future of work?

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift towards remote work and made people rethink the traditional 9-5 workday.

Over the last few years, new flexible working arrangements / opportunities have been introduced. 

While it is unlikely that the 5-day workweek will disappear completely, it is possible that the trial has created a higher demand for this type of flexible working arrangement. Ultimately, the future of work will depend on various factors, including technological advancements, economic conditions, and societal values.

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