In the UK, trying the four-day working week means adopting it

In the UK, trying the four-day working week means adopting it

More and more workers want to adjust their work schedule, in order to accomplish the professional tasks incumbent on them in four days. If this mode of organization is still marginal in France, it is more popular across the Channel.

Between June and December 2022, around sixty British businesses trialled the four-day week as part of the “4 Day Week Global” campaign. Employees who participated worked 20% fewer hours, while keeping the same professional goals and the same salary. After six months, the first results of this experiment were largely positive. Employees were more motivated and their productivity had not dropped.

A positive outcome for employees and businesses

But what about now? Are companies still happy with the four-day week? It seems so. The overwhelming majority of British companies that participated in the “4 Day Week Global” campaign still apply this working rhythm (89%), according to a study carried out by the University of Cambridge and Boston College. More than 50% of them have even decided to adopt it permanently.

For good reason, everything suggests that the four-day week contributes to the well-being of staff. More than 80% of managers and CEOs interviewed for this report say that this organization of working time has a positive impact on their employees. They say they are in better health, both physically and mentally, since they only work four days a week. Additionally, they are able to maintain a healthier balance between their professional and personal lives, which contributes to their overall satisfaction.

Experiments throughout Europe

From the employer’s point of view, the benefits of the four-day week are also felt in terms of team turnover and the attractiveness of companies. Because this alternative work rhythm is an effective way to recruit, and above all, retain employees. An Indeed survey, conducted by OpinionWay among 1,138 French employees working in the private and public sectors, indicates that 28% of workers in France would be ready to cut back on their salary to work four days, instead of five.

Juliet Schor, professor of sociology at Boston College and co-author of the study, is delighted with the long-term success of the “4 Day Week Global” campaign. “It is important to emphasize that the good results obtained after six months of experimentation were not due to novelty or short-term effects.“, she said in a press release.

At a time when quality of life at work is a major concern in business, the four-day working week is attracting interest beyond the UK’s borders. Similar initiatives have been launched in Central Europe, Portugal, Spain and Scotland to test this method of organization.

Belgium has officially adopted it since February 2022. Since this date, the country’s workers have been authorized by law to opt for four or five days of work per week. But surprisingly, the majority of Belgians prefer to maintain a traditional work rhythm, according to a study by HR service provider Tempo-Team relayed by RTBF.