The UK has begun trialling a 4-day working week

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The prospect of a four-day work week seems like a fantasy. But a four-day week pilot has been launched in the UK for six months with no pay loss for thousands of participating employees.

The trial will continue from today until December 2022(opens in new tab) It is led by researchers from the University of Cambridge, Boston College and the University of Oxford, the non-profit organization 4 Day Week Global, the UK think tank Autonomy and the 4 Day Week UK campaign. Over 70 UK-based companies are taking part, and companies can apply to take part(opens in new tab) In the pilot if they want.

Joe O’Connor, pilot program manager at 4 Day Week Global, said more companies were adopting “productivity-based strategies” in an effort to reduce staff hours without cutting wages.

“The four-day week challenges the current work model and enables organizations to move away from simply measuring how long people are ‘on the job’ to focus more on the output being produced. 2022 will be the year that heralds the future of work in this bold message,” he said.

You’ve probably heard a lot of talk about four-day work weeks. In 2021, Iceland released the results of a year-long trial of a shorter workweek. From 2015 to 2019, the country conducted the world’s largest trial of a shorter work week — yes, you guessed it — and the results showed participants were happier, healthier and more productive. In 2019, Microsoft Japan tested a four-day week and found it increased productivity by nearly 40%. The dream of a four-day week is becoming a reality for many companies around the world. Panasonic recently introduced an optional four-day work week for employees.

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British artillery arm(opens in new tab) One of the six companies registered in the scheme. Ken Sutherland, head of Canon Medical Research Europe, said:(opens in new tab)“We recognize that work patterns and the importance we all place on our work-life balance have changed significantly during the pandemic. As a responsive employer, we are always looking at how we can adapt our work practices to ensure employees find their time with us meaningful, fulfilling and productive. Because of this , we’re looking forward to piloting a four-day week to see if it works for us.

It was reported that Scotland will trial a four-day working week in September(opens in new tab)Based on similar experiments in Iceland and New Zealand.

The numbers show strong support for a shorter work week. Researchers at financial firm Jefferies asked young Americans(opens in new tab) If 22- to 35-year-olds were in favor of a four-day week, 80% of respondents said yes.

The prospect of three-day weekends throughout the year is very attractive. Testing across the UK is going well.

Update: June 6, 2022, 11:35 GMT This article was first published when the trial was first announced in January 2022 and updated with the start of the trial on June 6. We have changed some details in the story.

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