The notion of working less for the same pay might sound utopian. But for thousands of UK employees it became a reality on Monday with the launch of the world’s largest four-day week trial.
Some 3,300 staff from 70 UK businesses are taking part in the six-month pilot. Banks, automotive firms and even a fish and chip shop signed up. Participants are expected to maintain pre-trial productivity levels while working 80 per cent of their regular hours.
The pilot was launched by campaign group 4 Day Week Global in partnership with Autonomy, a thinktank, and the 4 Day Week UK Campaign. Researchers from the University of Cambridge, University of Oxford and Boston College will study its impact.
“The 20th-century concept of a five-day working week is no longer the best fit for 21st-century business,” said Ed Siegel, CEO of Charity Bank, which is taking part. “We firmly believe that a four-day week with no change to salary or benefits will create a happier workforce, and will have an equally positive impact on business productivity, customer experience and our social mission.”
Read more: 10 arguments for a shorter working week
Image: Marten Bjork
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