Four-day week trial: would you consider this for your business?

The significance of work life balance is extremely important, and employees see this as a benefit to their terms and conditions of employment.

This week, thousands of UK employees started working a four-day week in one of the world’s biggest experiments in reducing working hours.  During the trial employees from more than 70 businesses have reduced their hours down to 80 per cent without receiving a detriment in salary.

This comes at a time when many organisations are thinking about their future working arrangements and considering whether homeworking and reduced hours are the way forward to support employees in a better work life balance which in turn could see a better work input from employees.

What is happening?

The four-day working week, which started in the UK yesterday, 06 June, is a six-month planned trial where employees working for participating companies receive their normal salary for 80 per cent of their working time. In exchange, staff are expecting to maintain the same level productivity on the reduced hours.

The trial involves more than 3,300 employees at 70 UK companies from across a wide variety of sectors.

What is the trial for?

As part of the trial, researchers will work with each participating organisation to assess the impact on productivity in the business, the wellbeing of employees and the impact on the environment.

The researchers are also putting an emphasis on how employees respond to having an extra day off in terms of their levels of job and life satisfaction, levels of stress and burnout, sleep, health, energy consumption and how they travel.

What could the findings mean for employers?

The trial is to show that the future of work is flexible and businesses can start considering the benefits of a four day week for their employees.