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New research shows nearly 89% of organisations have kept four-day week policy following trial

One year on from the results of the world’s biggest ever four-day working week pilot which took place in the UK in 2022, companies that took part have reported significant and lasting success.

A recent report offers new insight into the effects of a four-day week on workers over the longer term, as well as into the strategies used by organisations to fit shorter working hours to their particular circumstances.

Of the 61 organisations that took part in the 2022 UK four-day week pilot, at least 54 have confirmed that they are still operating the policy one year later (89%). In addition, at least 31 have made the four-day week permanent – 51% of all participating companies.

Organisations were invited to participate in a follow-up study one year later, to see how the four-day week was taking effect. Almost half of the original cohort (28 organisations) agreed to take part in these follow-up research engagements, providing feedback on the policy itself, how to “make it stick” in the long term, and the lasting impacts of the four-day week.

100% of managers and CEOs who were consulted said that the four-day week had a ‘positive’ or ‘very positive’ impact on their organisation. When asked what the shorter working week had changed, 82% of surveyed companies reported positive impacts on staff well-being. 50% saw positive effects on reducing staff turnover and 32% said the policy had noticeably improved their recruitment.

A separate follow-up survey with staff from 47 of the original pilot organisations also showed that the improvements in physical and mental health, work-life balance and general life satisfaction, as well as reductions in burnout, found at the end of the original pilot have all been maintained one year on. The survey also shows that work intensity remains lower, and job satisfaction higher, than before the 2022 pilot began.

Additionally, through interviews with staff and managers, this report offers insights into the practicalities of maintaining a four-day week policy in the longer term.

Interviews revealed the many positive initiatives and strategies that organisations have used to maintain their four-day week policies, including revising the norms around meetings, communications, work prioritisation and more.

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