4-day work week going well for most UK firms in ongoing 6-months trial

However, some companies with 'comparatively fixed or inflexible practices' faced hurdles.

Gawain Pek | September 21, 2022, 02:18 PM

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A check-in survey as part of an ongoing four-day work week trial in the UK revealed that things have been going well so far.

The trial began on Jun. 6, 2022, involving 3,300 workers from 70 organisations across the UK, the BBC wrote.

4 Day Week Global, the coordinating group behind the UK experiment, shared results from the survey in an update on its website.

The trial is being conducted together with the think tank, Autonomy, as well as researchers from Cambridge and Oxford universities, according to the BBC.

Image via 4 Day Week Global.

The results

Participating organisations responded to survey questions on a scale of one to five, 4 Day Week Global wrote.

41 out of the 70 organisations responded to the survey.

Among those who responded, 88 per cent stated that the four-day week is working 'well' for their business so far.

Regarding productivity levels, 46 per cent indicated that it maintained around the same level, 34 per cent saw slight improvements, and 15 per cent observed significant improvements.

When asked if the policy will be retained by the organisation after the trial period, 86 per cent indicated that it is "extremely likely" or "likely" that it will.

Rating their experience transiting to a four-day week on a scale of one to five (five being extremely smooth), 29 per cent selected five, 49 per cent selected four, and 20 per cent selected three.

Transition not without friction for some

Commenting on the results, 4 Day Week Global CEO Joe O'Conner noted that while the transition has been smooth for most respondents, there are "understandable hurdles" for some.

"Especially among those which have comparatively fixed or inflexible practices, systems, or cultures which date back well into the last century", O'Conner added.

He also shared that while the trial has led to positive insights for some participants, it has also revealed "friction for others".

However, O'Connor believes that these are not immutable, and can be addressed substantially.

Qualifying the results, the update from 4 Day Week also provided reflections from several CEOs and managing directors of participating organisations.

One CEO noted that productivity remained high, wellness for the team improved, and business performed "44 per cent better financially".

According to The Guardian, the four-day week is based on a 100:80:100 policy -- 100 per cent pay for 80 per cent of the time, with 100 per cent commitment given in return.

Singapore firms welcome to try flexible arrangements

In the Sep. 13 parliamentary session, Minister of State for Manpower Gan Siow Huang responded to questions on four-day week studies here in Singapore.

Gan shared that while the Ministry of Manpower is not aware of any ongoing studies locally, it is keeping track of trials around the world.

Gan also commented that employers and employees should be open to the various forms flexible work arrangements and adopt those best suited to them.

Similar four-day week trials are ongoing or being considered in Australia, Canada, Iceland, Ireland, New Zealand, Spain and the United States.

Japanese firm Panasonic has also announced plans to implement an optional four-day week from April 2023.

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Top image via Getty Images