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Majority of workers who trialed a 4-day workweek say they'll never return to a 5-day routine: Study

The study has indicated that a four-day workweek has increased employee productivity and company profit margins.

Majority of workers who trialed a 4-day workweek say they'll never return to a 5-day routine: Study
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People around the world have realized during the Covid-19 pandemic that there is more to life than just work. Many are attracted to the new idea of companies having four-day work weeks. This has been proved by the largest-ever four-day workweek experiment, It indicated that the majority of UK companies participating are not reverting to the five-day usual, and a third are ready to make the move permanent, per The Economic Times.


From June to December 2022, 61 firms and around 2,900 people voluntarily embraced shortened work weeks. According to statistics revealed Tuesday, just three firms elected to suspend the experiment, and two are still investigating for fewer hours. The others were persuaded that four is the new five when it comes to working days by revenue increases, fewer turnover, and lower levels of worker burnout.  The fact that thousands of employees chose reduced work hours is noteworthy considering that the research took place amid challenging economic times for many British firms, including fast inflation, political instability, and the aftermath of Brexit.


Launching a work-hour reduction program in the middle of an economic crisis looked risky at times. Lead researcher Juliet Schor, an economist and sociologist at Boston College said, "I was wondering if it might be a lot harder for companies to make four-day weeks work, and the answer seems to be no. The organizations did a great job, and they’re really happy with it." Her research has long revealed that five-day work weeks are no longer compatible with the lifestyles and obligations of modern employees, particularly caregivers. 

Workers that participated in the experiment enjoyed the shortened workweek. They reported benefits in everything from stress, weariness, and health to their personal lives as a result of the new routine. During the study, men spent more than twice as much time caring for children as women. None of the 2,900 participants claimed they desire to abandon the four-day schedule, and 15% said no amount of money could persuade them to return to five days. The majority of businesses adopted four-day schedules, however, a small number chose shorter five-day arrangements or, in the case of seasonal industries such as restaurants, an annualized four-day week model in which greater opening times in summer compensated for fewer days in winter.



The UK findings contribute to the business argument for a four-day week. Organizational income increased by 35% year on year and by 1.4% throughout the experiment. Though measuring productivity across companies is challenging, the corporations evaluated the impact of four-day schedules as good, averaging 7.5 on a 10-point scale. Tyler Grange, an environmental consultant that permanently adopted a four-day plan for its about 100 employees following the trial, claimed the shorter schedule increased output by more than a fifth and resulted in around 18 fewer lost days per month due to sickness. Workers also said that taking an extra day off helped them save money on childcare and transportation. 

Yet, when it comes to the relationship between working days and flexibility, some are unconvinced that less is better. Matthew Crummack, chief executive officer at Domestic & General said, "You lose flexibility with four days. Our view is that inevitably on the fifth day, something will crop up and you’ll end up having to work." 

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