Last year it was widely publicised that thousands of UK workers across 61 companies from various industries would begin the world’s largest trial of a shorter work week with no loss of pay. Percentage-wise, that’s 100% pay for 80% of the time but with 100% productivity to be maintained.
4 day week – the results
The results of the six-month trial have now been published:
- 92% of companies that participated have decided to continue with the four-day week after the pilot. Of the 61 companies that participated, at least 56 are continuing with the four-day week, with 18 saying the policy is a permanent change
- The vast majority of companies were satisfied that business performance and productivity were maintained
- Over the six-month trial period, stress and burnout for employees both significantly declined, with 71% of employees reporting lower levels
- Reported levels of anxiety, fatigue and sleep issues decreased, while mental and physical health both experienced improvements
- 60% of employees found an increased ability to combine paid work with care responsibilities, and 62 % reported it easier to combine work with social life
- Other key business metrics showed positive signs. Companies’ revenue stayed broadly the same, rising by 1.4% on average
- There was a substantial decline (57%) in the likelihood that an employee would quit, dramatically improving job retention
- There was a 65% reduction in the number of sick days
- Employee well-being data shows that 39% of employees felt less stressed
- 15% of employees said that no amount of money would induce them to accept a 5-day schedule over the 4-day week to which they were now accustomed
To read the full Four-Day Week Pilot Report, click here.
4 day week – our thoughts…
Whilst the above statistics are highly encouraging, at CP, we feel that a 4-day work week largely depends on the type of work you do and also the type of industry you are in. For example, a 4-day work week would be difficult to tailor to the construction industry as the outputs are different from other industries as the construction industry engages many sub-contractors. Regulation and competitive tendering are additional factors to consider. Overall, it’s a complex issue for the construction industry. Other industries are more steady and predictable, allowing for more flexibility and less disruption to their operations and client outcomes.
Having said that, as announced by Autonomy, regarding the trial, each company designed a policy tailored to its particular industry and work culture to achieve success. Though, within the trial, construction companies only represented 4% of participating companies by industry.
No doubt, the 4-day work week will be an interesting space to watch. In the interim, we know a handful of prominent construction companies in Brisbane currently working a 5-day work week away from the usual 6-day week, which the construction industry is more accustomed to. So stay tuned, as next month we share our insights on the 5-day construction work week – the pros and cons.
Receive our updates straight to your inbox