What would you do with an extra day off every week? From taking time to learn a new skill to indulging in some much-needed relaxation, the possibilities are endless. Plus, the opportunity to take some more time for yourself might be closer than you think.
At the start of June, 70 companies across the UK began a six-month pilot programme. This trial has been designed to scale back employees’ working hours in the hope to reduce stress and improve work-life balance.
More than 3,300 workers have already got involved with this trial, which incorporates companies ranging from large financial firms to independent cafés.
According to the trial organisers, 4 Day Week Global, the four-day week has the power to boost productivity as well as staff wellbeing. Chief executive Joe O’Connor said, “As we emerge from the pandemic, more and more companies are recognising that the new frontier for competition is quality of life, and that reduced-hour, output-focused working is the vehicle to give them a competitive edge.”
The results are in
While the nationwide four-day week trial is just getting underway, a recent survey from employee rewards platform Mór demonstrated the demand for the four-day working.
In one survey presented to 5,000 Mór subscribers, 80% of respondents said that they would like their business to adopt a four-day week, while just 20% were undecided.
These findings from Mór who were the first employee rewards platform to implement the four-day working week, support the general trend surrounding this positive step forward in the workplace. According to research from Henley Business School, three-quarters of Brits back a four-day working week. 67% of Gen Z participantsalso said that it would drive them to pick a place to work.
It isn’t only employees that are welcoming the four-day week with open arms – employers are already seeing the positive impact too. Almost two-thirds (63%) of employers say that offering a four-day working week has helped them to attract and retain talent. In addition, the economic impact has been impressive so far. According to Henley, moving to a four-day week has already saved UK businesses an estimated £92 billion annually.
And it doesn’t stop there! Another big benefit of shifting to a four-day week is the positive impact it could have on the environment. Of those who still commute to their place of work, UK employees estimate they would drive an average of 557.8 million fewer miles per week, leading to a big decrease in transport emissions.
Putting employee wellbeing first
As well as benefiting the environment, the economy and employee productivity, one of the most impactful elements of the four-day working week is how much it can boost wellbeing.
Promoting work-life balance seems to be one of the key elements behind businesses implementing the four-day week into their structure. This is something that Co-CEO of Mór, Urchana Moudgil agrees with, as she explains:
“We are proud to be pioneering the four-day working week. We often say ‘we work to live and not live to work’ but how many of us actually do that? We wanted to change that mindset and create an organisation and environment that actively encourages a positive work-life balance.
She added that, “Prioritising employee welfare and creating a culture of positivity has been invaluable for productivity and the mental health and wellbeing of our team, who have embraced the four-day working week.”
With such a positive response to the trial so far, there’s little doubt that the four-day working week really is the future.