Employees in the UK call for shorter workweek

June 4, 2023

Employees who participated in a four-day work week trial want the arrangement to stay and their employers are ready to oblige.

It would appear that employees in the UK have developed a taste for the four-day workweek. 2,900 employees who participated in a recent trial have reported improved health and wellbeing and if given a choice, want this to be a permanent work arrangement.

Even monetary enticement is unlikely to suffice, with 15% saying that no amount of money would make them return to a five-day workweek.

Employers apparently, are taking heed, with 91% of organisations that participated in the trial saying they will continue or plan to continue a four-day workweek. Only 4% of organisations say they will return to a five-day workweek.

The participating organisations assessed their overall trial experience with an average score of 8.5 out of 10, with business productivity and performance each receiving 7.5 out of 10. During the trial periods, revenue experienced a 35% increase compared to the same periods of the prior year, and absenteeism decreased while hiring rose.

The five-day workweek no longer fit the lifestyles and commitments of modern employees, particularly caretakers,  according to Juliet Schor, Lead Researcher of the trial and an Economist and Sociologist at Boston College.

“Results [of the trial] are largely steady across workplace of varying sizes, demonstrating this is an innovation which works for many types of organisations,” she added.

Involving 61 organisations and 2,900 employees, the four-day workweek trial was held between June to December 2022 and was conducted by 4 Day Week Global, a not-for-profit community advocating for a four-day workweek, the UK’s 4 Day Week Campaign, and think-tank Autonomy.

By Josephine Tan, journalist of

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