It’s time to embrace the 4 day work week
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At the end of February 2023, a trial into implementing a 4 day work week within the workplace involving 61 companies and nearly 3000 employees had come to a close. And the results astounded the old guard that could not believe that well rested, happy, and well paid workers became more productive than when they were underpaid and overworked. The trial was based on the 100:80:100 model – 100% of pay for 80% of the time, in exchange for a commitment to maintain 100% productivity. In total, about 2,900 employees across the UK have taken part in the pilot. Surveys of staff taken before and after found that 39% said they were less stressed, 40% were sleeping better and 54% said it was easier to balance work and home responsibilities. Not only that but employers saw the benefits with a 57% reduction in sick leave over the period the trial was conducted compared to similar periods before the trial. Of the 61 companies that have taken part in the trial, 56 have opted to keep the 4 day work week running.
If this trial has proven that this is not only possible but profitable to implement, then why has there been such a backlash from people to implement it? I currently work a 4 day work week and I can honestly say that I’ve never felt happier in my current role even compared to other roles I’ve had where I was earning a larger amount of money. In fact only 2 of us do work a 5 day work week and despite that the company hasn't self combusted which appears to be the fear from micromanaging middle managers who need so desperately to hold onto what little power they wield over their employees, and with what this study has shown, at a detriment to the business as a whole. If these companies not only saw the same productivity with some see higher levels of productivity leading to higher profits, why shouldn't this be implemented? Surely businesses will not only see an increase in productivity but also a reduction in overhead costs as a result of not needing to heat and power offices for 1 additional day of the week.
I know for a fact that for us working a 4 day work week has helped us as a company. Due to the fact that we are in a creative industry, burnout is always going to be a huge risk for our employees and so by them having that additional time off they get the chance to come back fully rested. This means as a business, we are going to be more profitable in the long run compared to our competitors and I would not be surprised if this is one of the main reasons that we have managed to obtain the successes we have thanks to the fact that our staff are not burned out. With all that being said, I truly believe that there is now no good excuse for businesses to not start implementing a 4 day work week, after all the free market has decided it’s better.