Skip to main content

Home  »  UK Business NewsUK Employment news   »   UK four-day-week trial shows benefits for workers like reduced stress and better work-life balance

UK four-day-week trial shows benefits for workers like reduced stress and better work-life balance

four day week

Firms in four day week trial will make it permanent

The biggest-ever trial of a four-day-week has revealed improvements to employees’ lives like less stress and increased job satisfaction.

Between June and December 2022, the UK 4-Day Work Week organisation piloted a scheme involving 1,500 workers across the country.

It has released a comprehensive report on the pilot, which shows a number of positive results.

The pilot comprised 61 companies and around 2,900 workers, with staff working 32 hours a week.

READ MORE: Four day week could alleviate the cost of living crisis, says UK think tank

The key finding of the report is reducing working hours does not necessarily mean a reduction in productivity.

In fact, the data shows productivity remained the same or increased in the companies taking part.

This was due to the fact employees working fewer hours are more focused, energized, and motivated, leading to increased efficiency.

The report also revealed the model can be applied to a number of industries, including the service sector, manufacturing, and healthcare.

Another important finding was 60 percent of employees found an increased ability to combine their work with care responsibilities, and 62 percent reported it easier to combine work with social life.

READ MORE: Sainsbury’s launches four-day working week trial

What were the negatives of the four-day-week?

The report wasn’t entirely positive.

Some companies did see a fall in productivity, which highlights how important careful planning and implementation are to making the four-day week a success.

It also highlights how the model may not be suitable for all industries and job roles.

For example, companies that need 24/7 coverage or those with time-sensitive projects might struggle to implement the shorter week.

Another issue was the challenges companies would face in organising the change.

Changing to a four-day week would require major changes to schedules and workload distribution, which could be disruptive to some employees and might require more training for managers.

The final point the report makes is that some companies could take a hit financially by making a change.

The problem some companies could face is having to for out for additional staff as cover or see increased overheads as a result of making the change.

READ MORE: Need Career Advice? Get employment skills advice at all levels of your career

The report concludes that while a shorter work week can be beneficial for both employees and employers, it need to be well planned.

Companies need to take account of industry-specific challenges, and make sure they communicate effectively with their employees to make a success of the change.

Writing on LinkedIn, UK 4-Day Work Week CEO Phil McParlane said:

“The results of the largest EVER 4 day work week (32hrs) pilot were released today, here’s the results:

  • Companies continuing with 4 day week: 92%
  • Average revenue (vs last year): +35%
  • Number of staff leaving job: -57%
  • Improved physical health: 37%
  • Improved mental health: 43%
  • Absenteeism: decreased
  • Reduced Burnout: 71%
  • Reduced Stress: 39%
  • Hiring: easier


“These results are even better than I had hoped for.”

The full report can be found here.

Follow us on YouTube,Twitter,LinkedIn, and Facebook

Related Articles

Skip to content