In the UK, an experiment with the introduction of a four-day work week has been successfully completed. Test participants stated that the transition did not affect the productivity of employees, and in some cases even led to an increase in labor productivity. Moreover, the workers were delighted with the experiment, almost all reported a reduction in anxiety and stress, and they were able to reallocate the freed up time to sports, health and their hobbies, which made it easier to find a balance between work and home. MarketWatch tells about the results of the experiment.
The study was led by 4 Day Week Global, which supports the initiative to move to a shorter work week. The experiment involved 61 British companies and approximately 2,900 employees of these enterprises. The study took place from June to December 2022. The companies rated the success of the experiment at 8.5 points out of 10.
“Overall job and life satisfaction is higher, with employees reporting lower burnout rates and better physical and mental health. People also have fewer sleep problems and exercise more,” says the report, based on data from researchers at Boston College and the University of Cambridge.
The company's revenue for the reporting period increased by an average of 35% compared to the same period last year. More than half of employees admitted that four days increased their ability to work, 71% of respondents said that they began to burn out less at work. About 40% said that they became less stressed and had improved mental health, and 54% began to experience less negative emotions.
Almost half of the companies recorded that employee productivity did not change as a result of the experiment, about a third admitted that it even increased slightly, and about 15% of companies noted a noticeable increase in productivity. Thus, the transition to a shorter working week not only did not reduce the productivity of companies, but in most cases even increased it, with a partial reduction in personnel costs.
As a result of the experiment, 92% of employers reported that they intended to keep the four-day work on a permanent basis. Some of the remaining companies decided to extend the experiment and make a decision based on its results, and some returned to the previous mode of operation. However, the publication notes that interest in a shorter work week in developed countries continues to grow. According to the latest survey of major global employers by Ernst & Young (EY), about 40% of employers are either already experimenting with a four-day period or have indicated they are ready to start them in the near future.