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4-day working week proves productivity

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Preliminary results from one of the largest tests of a four-day working week look promising.

Seventy UK companies began a six-month pilot of a four-day working week in June. Last Tuesday, the 4 Day Week Global foundation, which is running the test, announced the results halfway through the pilot.

The 70 participating companies were asked questions about the four-day week. Of the 41 companies that responded, 88 percent say they like the new schedule "well" so far. And 86 percent say they are "likely" or "very likely" to keep the four-day working week after the end of the trial.

CEO Claire Daniels of Trio Media, one of the participating companies, says in a press release, "The trial of the four-day working week has been a huge success for us so far. Productivity has remained high, team wellbeing has improved and we performed 44 percent better financially." 

Possible lower output from employees is one of the biggest concerns with a four-day week, but 46 percent of companies say productivity has remained at "about the same level", 34 percent speak of a "slight improvement" and 15 percent even a "marked improvement".

Reducing the standard 40-hour working week by one day remains the biggest challenge, but that too is proving to be far from bad. 

When asked how the transition to a four-day working week went on a scale of 1 to 5, 29 percent of companies chose a 5 (very easy), 49 percent a 4, and 20 percent a 3.

"We are proud to participate in this test and it is going fine for us," says managing director Nicci Russell of Waterwise, one of the other participating companies. "It didn't go smoothly at first, but that's never the case with any major change."

By now, according to Russell, everyone is pretty used to it. 

"We all had to put our best foot forward and some weeks were easier than others, holidays, for example, made it more difficult to get everything fitting, but by now things are going much better than at the beginning."

"We all love having one less day in the office and coming back refreshed," Russell continues. "It's working out fantastically for our well-being and we are already significantly more productive."

Another company taking part in the test, construction recruitment agency Girling Jones, told Insider back in July that the four-day working week is very positive for employees. "The reason we are doing this is that people are much happier now," managing director Fiona Blackwell said at the time.

Are you thinking about introducing a four-day workweek in your organisation? Then this is perhaps a good time to do so. Let experts advise you on what might suit your organisation and how you can implement it in your organisation. For just a free talk and advice about this topic get in touch here.

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