The push to make a four-day workweek the standard has really picked up steam in recent years. (Although it’d be picking up MORE steam if they worked at it five days a week, instead of just four.)
The world’s largest four-day workweek pilot program has wrapped up. It took place over six months in the U.K. . . . but it involved researchers from around the globe, including Boston College and the University of Cambridge.
61 companies participated, with nearly 3,000 employees.
The companies could choose how they’d structure it . . . like giving an extra day off per week, or reducing their working days in a year to average out to 32 hours per week. So it wasn’t even 40 hours crammed into four days.
The only requirement was that they could NOT cut salaries or benefits. The workers would get 100% of their pay, and in exchange, they’d deliver 100% of their usual work.
In the end, it was “a resounding success” . . . for employees AND employers.
And it wasn’t just about less working hours for the same money. 15% of the employees who participated said “no amount of money” could convince them to go back to working five days a week.
Workers reported a lot of benefits . . . including better sleep, stress levels, personal lives, and mental health. They spent more time with their kids, families, household duties, and friends.
The companies reported that their revenue “stayed broadly the same” during the six-month trial, but went up 35% on average when compared with a similar period from previous years. They also dealt with less turnover . . . fewer sick days . . . less burnout . . . and were happy with the employees’ performance.
Of the 61 companies, 56, or 92%, said they were continuing the four-day workweek . . . even though the trial is over. And 18 of them said they’ve already made the four-day shift permanent.
That leaves five companies. Two of them are going to continue experimenting . . . and only three, or 5%, say they’re done with it, and will return to five days.