In a policy that is being hailed as “transformative”, a hundred companies in the UK have signed up for a four-day working week on a permanent basis. The policy is said to significantly change UK’s approach to work as it does not include loss of pay and will cover thousands of employees.
As per the The Guardian, advocates of the four-day week claim that the five-day work week is a hangover from an earlier economic age. “They argue that a four-day week would drive companies to improve their productivity, meaning they can create the same output using fewer hours,” reported The Guardian.
Positive inputs seem to be coming in from those who have already adopted the policy, as it attracts and even retains workers.
Global marketing company Awin and Atom Bank are the two biggest companies that have signed up for the policy. Both have been accredited by the four-day week campaign, implying they have actually reduced hours rather than coercing their employees into working longer days.
Speaking to The Guardian, Awin’s chief executive Adam Ross said shifting to the four-day week was “one of the most transformative initiatives” in the history of the company. “Over the course of the last year and a half, we have not only seen a tremendous increase in employee wellness and well-being but concurrently, our customer service and relations, as well as talent relations and retention also have benefited,” he told The Guardian.
The ‘4 Day Week Campaign’ in UK is also coordinating a pilot scheme which involves about 70 companies, to shift to the four-day week in a trial with researchers at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, Boston college and think-tank Autonomy.
At the middle of the trial, in September, 88 per cent of those companies informed that the shift to a four-day week was working well, and about 95% of the surveyed companies, speaking about the impact on productivity, said it had either remained the same or improved since the policy was implemented.
The Guardian also reported that most of the companies that have officially adopted the four-day week are in the services sector.