Thousands of UK workers begin biggest trial of four-day week ever

7 June 2022, 12:47

The four day working week is being trialled
The four day working week is being trialled. Picture: Getty Images
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

Over 3,000 workers are taking part in the biggest-ever trial of the four-day working week.

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Thousands of UK workers have kickstarted a new four-day working week trial this week.

The experiment includes 70 companies across the country, making this working pattern trial the largest to ever take place.

The company's range from a local chip shop to large financial firms, who all started their employees working a four-day week on Monday, keeping the same pay.

A four day working week is being trialled
A four day working week is being trialled. Picture: Getty Images

Running for six months, the pilot is being organised by 4 Day Week Global in partnership with the thinktank Autonomy, the 4 Day Week Campaign, and researchers at Cambridge University, Oxford University and Boston College.

It's based on the 100:80:100 model, which means workers receive 100 percent of their pay for working 80 percent of their usual hours, in exchange for 100 percent commitment.

Some companies who signed up for the experiment include Sheffield software firm Rivelin Robotics, Charity Bank in Tonbridge, and London-based inheritance tax specialists Stellar Asset Management.

Platten’s Fish and Chips in Wells-next-the-Sea is also taking part, with team leader Wyatt Watts, 25, saying: “When I first heard we were going to be working less hours with the same pay, I thought to myself, ‘What’s the catch?’

3,300 workers are trialling a four day working week
3,300 workers are trialling a four day working week. Picture: Getty Images

“Usually I’m so exhausted from work I don’t have the energy, so hopefully having that extra time to rest will boost my energy levels.”

He also said the pilot has already had a positive impact, adding: “Morale has improved and we’re hoping that our productivity at work is going to be higher.”

Joe O Connor, CEO of 4 Day Week Global, said: “The UK is at the crest of a wave of global momentum behind the four-day week.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, more and more companies are recognising that the new frontier for competition is quality of life, and that reduced-hour, output-focused working is the vehicle to give them a competitive edge.

“The impact of the 'great resignation' is now proving that workers from a diverse range of industries can produce better outcomes while working shorter and smarter.”