Search icon


28th Feb 2024

British companies that trialled four-day week report lasting benefits more than a year later

Charlie Herbert

four day working week

Companies that have trialled a four-day working week are continuing to report benefits from the scheme more than a year on.

Back in 2022, dozens of companies and businesses signed up for a trial of the four-day week, which saw employees work one day less a week for no loss of pay.

The programme was performed by 4 Day Week Global along with think tank Autonomy, the 4 Day Week UK campaign and researchers from Cambridge University, Oxford University and Boston College.

The concept is known as the 100:80:100 model, because employees will be getting 100 percent of their pay for 80 percent of their normal week but must agree to work at 100 percent productivity.

Despite being designed to last just six months, 54 of the 61 companies who signed up have continued with the four-day week policy, and just over half have made it a permanent move, according to researchers.

Follow-up surveys have found that benefits such as improvements in physical and mental health, better general life satisfaction, higher job satisfaction and less burnout continued to be felt by employees more than a year on from the trial.

Sociologist Juliet Schor of Boston College was part of the research, and said the benefits of a four-day working week were “not a novelty effect.”

She said: “People are feeling really on top of their work with this new model.”

The four-day week trial found lasting benefits to workers more than year on (Getty)

Bosses reported positive impacts of the four-day week as well. Half of managers and CEOs who were consulted a year on said they saw positive effects in reducing staff turnover, whilst just under a third (32 per cent) said the four-day week had “noticeably improved their recruitment.”

Sharing her experience of adopting the four-day working week, Nicci Russell, CEO of London-based water conservancy non-profit Waterwise, said her company found efficiencies in their week to allow all staff to have Friday off, NPR reports.

This included simple things such as keeping all meetings to 30 minutes, making sure meetings start on time, and being more mindful of the emails they send and how long they spend going through their emails.

She told a webinar: “I only do my emails now at certain times of the day. I’m not drawn into them all day, every day.”

Staff at the company said they wouldn’t consider going back to a five-day-a-week job unless it meant a significant pay raise, whilst Russell said the scheme was “brilliant for retention, which is super important in a teeny organization like ours.”

Other companies explained that whilst they couldn’t afford to have everyone off on Fridays, they could give everyone extra time off in other ways. This included some people working five days but doing shorter hours.

You can read the full findings of the research by here.

Related links:

Company moves to four-day working week without making any financial loss

Four-day week could actually work, UK Government admits