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World-first pilot shows four-day work week success

Published on: 7 Mar 2024

Nearly nine out of 10 organisations that took part in a four-day work week trial are still operating the policy 12 months later.

The six-month trial, led by think tank Autonomy and researchers from the University of Cambridge, the University of Salford and Boston College in the US, took place in the UK in 2022. It was the world’s biggest such experiment. Last year, the organisations involved took part in a follow-up study, Making It Stick: The UK Four-Day Week Pilot

One Year On; this found that, of the 61 employers that took part in the pilot, 54 (89%) still use the policy a year later and 31 (51%) have made the change permanent.

Managers and chief executives said the four-day week had had a “positive” or “very positive” impact on their organisations. Asked what the shorter work week had changed, 82% reported positive impacts on staff wellbeing, 50% saw reductions in staff turnover and 32% noted improved recruitment.

Of staff involved, 96% said their personal life had benefited. Some 86% felt they performed better at work, while 38% felt their organisation had become more efficient and 24% said the policy had helped them to meet caring responsibilities.