The U.K.’s decision to ease Covid restrictions has led 70 companies in the country to announce that they will spearhead the experiment in the hopes of perfecting a four-day work week.
3,300 workers will take part in the initiative for six months without any pay cuts. The company involved are varied from restaurants to financial firms.
4 Day Week Global, 4 Day Week U.K. Campaign, and Autonomy came into partnership with universities like Oxford University, Boston College, and Cambridge University for the program.
Companies decided to join the program because they want their employees, who are currently struggling with economic depression, Brand Manager of Pressure Drop Brewing Sienna O’Rourke said in a statement.
“The pandemic [has] made us think a great deal about work and how people organize their lives,” O’Rourke said in an interview. “We’re doing this to improve the lives of our staff and be part of a progressive change in the world.”
Iceland is the first country to implement such an innovative strategy. Participants report increased well-being and productivity without any decrease in workflow or satisfaction with employers, which proves these programs can work.
In 2020, many countries experienced lockdowns. Companies implemented the remote working setup to cut down on commuting costs; however, workers requested greater flexibility in the workplace – that is why the four-day working schedule was brought into the limelight.
The government-backed trials will start this year in Scotland and Spain, said the CEO of the 4 Day Week Campaign.
The CEO of 4 Day Week Global, Joe O’Connor, has told the press that the new work schedule they will try to implement is more effective than traditional Monday-to Friday working days since there is already evidence that point to increased productivity even with shorter work time.
“As we emerge from the pandemic, more and more companies are recognizing that the new frontier for the competition is quality of life, and that reduced-hour, output-focused working is the vehicle to give them a competitive edge,” he said.
“As we emerge from the pandemic, more and more companies are recognizing that the new frontier for the competition is quality of life and that reduced-hour, output-focused working is the vehicle to give them a competitive edge,” he explained.
The trials will be successful if they can take care of workers’ well-being and make gender equality a reality in the workplace, as well as increase the productivity of all workers.