British companies trying out a four-day work week have mostly decided to stick with it after a six-month pilot in what campaigners for better work-life balance see as a breakthrough.
Employees from 61 companies across the UK worked an average of 34 hours over four days between June and December 2022, while earning their existing salary.
Of these, 56 companies, or 92 percent, chose to continue in this way, 18 of them permanently.
The trial is the largest in the world to date, according to Autonomy, a British research organization that published the report alongside a group of academics and with support from New Zealand-based group 4 Day Week Global.
Most of the companies involved, across industries and sizes, with a total of 2,900 employees, said productivity remained stable.
Staff said their well-being and work-life balance had improved, while data showed that employees were much less likely to leave their jobs as a result of the four-day workweek policy.
“This is a major breakthrough moment for the movement towards a four-day work week,” Joe Ryle, director of the 4 Day Week Campaign, said in a statement yesterday.
“These incredible results show that the four-day work week with no loss of pay really works.”
For some employees surveyed, the extra day off was more important than any pay rise: 15% said no amount of money would bring them back to a five-day work week.
Companies from the marketing and advertising, professional services and charity sectors were most represented in the trial. Some 66 percent of the participants had 25 or fewer employees, while 22 percent had 50 or more employees.
Which four days employees worked varied. Some staff had Wednesdays off, while others had a three-day weekend policy.