Following the start of a four-day work week pilot program in the UK in June, 86 percent of respondents to a survey of companies taking part now state they are likely to continue the idea when the trial ends. The data comes at the halfway point of the trial and demonstrates that while workers are working fewer hours by just working for four days per week, productivity has stayed the same or even increased.
Meanwhile, the employees have more time for family and rest, which appears to be having a large impact on their performance once back in the office.
The thinktank running the pilot, called 4 Day Week Global, says that most companies have taken to the idea well, while some struggled at the outset.
“We are learning that for many it is a fairly smooth transition and for some there are some understandable hurdles – especially among those which have comparatively fixed or inflexible practices, systems, or cultures which date back well into the last century,” said CEO Joe O’Connor in a statement.
“While for most organisations the pilot prompts many pleasing discoveries and outcomes – a lot of businesses have more flexibility and nimbleness among their people and teams that leaders often know at the outset – there is friction for others, and this can be based on a variety of factors, many of which can be addressed or substantially improved in the pilot itself."
Of the 73 companies in the trial, 41 agreed to fill out a mid-point survey. Almost half (46 percent) stated that productivity had maintained, while 34 percent stated it had “improved slightly” and 15 percent stated it had “improved significantly”. The results are looking to be in line with various other studies into the idea, with almost all reporting a positive response and a workflow improvement.
4 Day Week Global aims to continue creating pilot programs to bring the idea to more companies across the world, in the hopes that both employees and employers can benefit from trialing it.