As of late, the news has been brimming with reports of more than 30 employers trialling the four day working week in the UK.

The six-month trial aims to analyse if workers can function at 100 per cent productivity for 80 per cent of their normal working time, whilst receiving the same wages as if they were working five days a week.

Many businesses across the world have already introduced the four day week as their new normal. Will the UK follow suit, and is this the future for employment?

Recruitment and retainment

The four day week could be great for recruitment and retainment, largely due to the positive effect this would have on employees’ mindsets.

In research carried out by 4 Day Week Global, it was revealed that 63 per cent of organisations find it easier to attract and retain staff with a four day work week.

Unsurprisingly, 78 per cent of these surveyed with a four day week expressed being happier and less stressed.

 “The four-day week challenges the current model of work and helps companies move away from simply measuring how long people are ‘at work’, to a sharper focus on the output being produced. 2022 will be the year that heralds in this bold new future of work,” said Joe O’Connor, pilot programme manager for the firm.

Increased productivity

Are employees more productive and motivated if they have longer weekends? The trial aims to see if this is the case. However, all signs seem to already be pointing to “yes”.

A similar trial in Iceland held between 2015 and 2019 was recently recognised as being a colossal success, while in Japan, a trial at Microsoft saw productivity elevate by 40 per cent.

Aizle, a restaurant in Edinburgh, recounted their best financial year after reducing a work day, improved staff retention, and a large rise in employee morale.

Environmentally friendly

If the working week is shortened, staff can reduce their commute, and large office buildings can operate for one day less than usual.

This has already been seen throughout the past two years, with the introduction of remote and hybrid working for many organisations across the country.

As we aim to build a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future, companies should be thinking about how they can reduce their carbon footprint, and the four day week could well be a solution worth considering.

Is it plausible?

The question of plausibility depends on the nature of your work. Although it is true that a four day week may be difficult to implement for some, it’s still important to remember that factory workers were once doing 100 hour weeks; something that was eventually cut down considerably.

If this shows us anything, it is that the world is everchanging, especially as the pandemic continues to change the face of work for the foreseeable future.

Has the time come for employers to take the leap and see the benefits for themselves?

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