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After the government eased restrictions, many companies are now spearheading a four-day work week. Over 70 U.K.-based businesses have announced that they will take part in these major trials.
3,300 workers will take part in the initiative for six months without any pay cuts. The company involved are varied from restaurants to financial firms with different types of business nature.
The stakeholders involved in the program include 4 Day Week Global, 4 Day Week U.K. Campaign, Autonomy, Oxford University, Boston College, and Cambridge University.
According to several companies, like the Brand Manager of Pressure Drop Brewing, Sianne O’Rourke, they wanted to take part in the trials because they want their employees to be given opportunities during this economic crisis, helping them improve their well-being and health.
“The pandemic [has] made us think a great deal about work and how people organize their lives,” O’Rourke said in an interview. “We’re doing this to improve the lives of our staff and be part of a progressive change in the world.”
The program is not the first on the globe. Iceland has been using a similar strategy from 2015 to 2019, which tested 2,500 individuals working in the public sector and according to the initiators’ reports, there hasn’t been any decrease in productivity, and employees felt happier.
In 2020, many countries were hit by a lockdown that caused people to lose their jobs. This led companies all over the world to look for ways of cutting costs and making work more flexible so they could retain talent while still maintaining productivity levels. However, as restrictions eased, many called for lesser working days.
Later this year, Spain and Scotland will start their government-backed trials, said the CEO of the 4 Day Week Campaign.
4 Day Week Global CEO Joe O’Connor says that the new work structure is more effective than traditional Monday-to Friday working days because workers have already proven that they can work smarter and shorter.
The trial’s success will be determined by various factors, including workers’ well-being, gender equality in the workplace and productivity levels.