4-Day working week trial: 86% to keep the shortened week

Around 86% of those surveyed said they would keep the four-day week policy going after the trial ends.

These results came about just before the British workforce have been accused of being ‘lazy’.

Could the 4-day working week become a help or hindrance?

The trial has been successful, but are we being lazy?

The trial ran by 4-Day week began in June.

More than 70 firms are taking part in the scheme where employees get 100% pay for 80% of their normal hours worked.

Of the 73 companies in the trial, 41 firms responded to a survey midway through the scheme. Around 86% of those surveyed said they would keep the four-day week policy going after the trial ends.

These results came about as the British workforce have recently been accused of being lazy.

What is the UK's problem?

Previous research seems to show it’s not that the British workforce are lazy. In fact, UK workers typically work longer hours than many other countries globally and are certainly working a lot more than the EU average.

But if it’s not that the workforce is lazy, then what is it?

The UK workforce, seem to lack productivity. They put in the hours, in fact they put in more hours than a lot of other countries, yet still seem to lack the results. So what is the problem?

44% of UK office workers taking part in a nationwide study have reported that they sometimes or always feel burnt out in work. Does this mean the UK workforce are working too much for no additional results?

Could the 4-day week be the solution?

In light of the 4-day working week trial, productivity has maintained or improved at the majority of firms.

If introducing a 4-day week can allow people to maintain or improve their productivity levels, then does this suggest that a 5-day week is hindering our performance? 4-Day Week, who are running the trial, claim that working our current 5-day week is making us stressed, over-worked and burnt out.

4-Day Week said that employees had benefitted from lower commuting and childcare costs and claimed that a parent with two children would save £3,232.40 on average per year or roughly £269.36 per month.

However, the trial has shown that a 4-day week is also not appropriate for all types of businesses, so could a 4-day week becoming ‘the norm’ potentially negatively affect certain sectors.

There is still some time to go on the trial. The UK trial is due to end in December and is running alongside similar pilots happening in Ireland, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and Israel.

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