The United Kingdom has started the world’s largest four-day work week experiment. 70 businesses will follow the new work pattern over the next six months. All personnel participating will be paid in full, with the added benefit of an extra day off. Researchers from Oxford and Cambridge universities, as well as the Autonomy movement for a shorter work week, are organizing the initiative. Participants expect that, despite the reduced hours, the new schedule will enhance production, as has been shown in prior studies.
“The epidemic has made us think a lot about work and how people organize their lives,” said Sam Smith, co-founder of Pressure Drop Brewery in Tottenham, one of the participating businesses, in a BBC statement. “We’re doing this to better the lives of our employees and to contribute to a global transformation that will improve people’s mental health and wellness.”
Around 3,000 people will be included in the nationwide trial, which might have far-reaching repercussions for UK businesses if it succeeds. While a four-day workweek is not for everyone, and it may not be feasible in some industries, an increase in productivity and employee contentment appears to be a win-win situation for most businesses. Employers’ reactions to the notion, on the other hand, remain to be seen.
Over the next six months, over 70 organizations will participate in what is regarded to be the world’s largest trial study into the working pattern. The experiment was organized by a group advocating for a shorter work week with no income reduction. Employees will be paid 100% for 80 percent of the hours they would normally work during the trial, with the goal of being more productive.
The project will be managed by academics from Oxford and Cambridge universities, as well as specialists from Boston College in the United States, in collaboration with the think tank Autonomy. Participating businesses include anything from office-based software developers and recruiting organizations to charity and a local fish and chip store.
Pressure Drop Brewery in Tottenham, north London, co-founder Sam Smith said it seemed “like a good time” for the company to be experimenting with new working techniques. He said, “The epidemic has made us think a lot about work and how people organize their lives.” “We’re doing this to better the lives of our employees and to contribute to a global transformation that will improve people’s mental health and wellness.”
Mr. Smith’s task throughout the pilot program is straightforward. His nine-person crew must make and package the same quantity of beer as before, but in four days rather than five. “I believe it comes down to how you use your time,” Mr Smith remarked. “So, when I say being productive, I don’t necessarily mean being quicker at the activity you’re working on right now; instead, it may mean taking use of the natural downtime you have to better prepare for the next day.”