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Is this the end of the 5-day week?

2023 may be the year that a 4-day week becomes a reality for many organisations across the globe thanks to the latest trials being deemed a huge success.

33 companies including around 1,000 employees took part in the latest trials enabling all employees to work a 4-day week instead of their usual 5 days on their existing salary based on the 100-80-100 rule built out by the pioneer of the 4 Day Week movement Andrew Barnes.

Andrew is now the founder of 4 Day Week Global, he and his team, work with businesses around the world to set up their own 4-day week trials. In a recent Robert Walters Webinar Andrew discusses how the pilot programs are “Not about compressing a 40-hour week into 4 days, but how do businesses maintain productivity and customer service whilst delivering the other benefits to employees”.

Every company that signs up for a trial is offered support from 4 Day Week Global to rethink their current ways of working and implement changes in their business to support the shorter work week through a series of workshops and mentoring.

Charlotte Lockhart Co-founder & Acting CEO of 4 Day Week Global understands that there is still some skepticism around not being able to close a business on a Friday and or reducing hours but recently stated that

We are heading into some constrained financial times, now is the time to run a productivity focused program in your business

This seems to be a sentiment many companies who have taken part in the pilot agree with two third of companies that ran trials between June and December 2022 across Australia New Zealand, the US, Canada, the UK and Ireland have confirmed they will continue with a 4-day week.

From the organisation perspective the report found that revenue rose 8 per cent during the trial, but it was up 38 per cent from the same period a year earlier.

There have also been some interesting results around employee wellbeing from the trials, with employees surveyed communicating that moving to a 4-day week has lessened work stress, helped with a better sleep pattern and overall increased their work-life balance.

These ‘softer’ benefits have been dominating headlines and sparked more interest in the pilot schemes, Robert Walters recently conducted an online survey with 91% of respondents stating that they want their company to take part in a future trial.

As more trials and stats are released, we believe we will continue to see an increase in appetite from employees and a 4-day week may become a bigger consideration when moving to a new company in the future making. Organisations that become early adopters to a 4-day week may not only see an increase in company productivity but also an increase in staff retention and job applicants for advertised roles. 

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