A hundred companies in the UK have switched the typical five-day work week to a four-day work week with no loss of pay. The companies participated in the 4 Day Week Campaign, hoping to change Britain’s approach to work.
Although the participating companies employ a small proportion of Britain's workforce – 2,600 staff – the campaign hopes to remove five-day working patterns that are seen as a “hangover” from an earlier economic age.
There has been increased momentum in companies adopting four-day work weeks according to Joe Ryle, the UK campaign’s director, even as the nation prepares for a long recession.
“We want to see a four-day week with no loss of pay become the normal way of working in this country by the end of the decade so we are aiming to sign up many more companies over the next few years,” Joe says.
“With many businesses struggling to afford 10% inflation pay rises, we’re starting to see increasing evidence that a four-day week with no loss of pay is being offered as an alternative solution.”
How do four-day work weeks benefit employees?
The four-day workweek campaign shares that allowing employees to reduce their hours while remaining on the same pay increases their productivity and job satisfaction. It’s also been said to attract a diverse range of talent while retaining current employees.
Grace Lordan, Associate Professor in Behavioural Science & Director of TII LSE, said: “Firms that are adopting a ‘remote first’ approach, expecting their workers to be in the office only to collaborate or fulfil operational needs, are those that can attract and retain the most diverse talent, particularly women.
“Firms that demand their employees are in the office for no reason will lose out on diverse talent pools. These demands are also ego-driven rather than having the best interests of the business in mind.”
Separate from the study, more than 100 British companies have become accredited four-day working week employers since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Companies that permit a four-day working week of 32 hours and no loss can receive the gold standard accreditation and companies offering a 35-hour week can receive the silver standard.
Accreditation can only be gained if companies demonstrate a genuine reduction in working hours with no pay loss.