The UK’s Four-Day Workweek Experiment Was Wildly Successful

Nearly 92% of companies that entered the trial have extended the shorter week

An Anonymous Businessman closing his laptop that's sitting on a wooden table next to a glass of whiskey
The weekend will continue to come early for many U.K. employees.
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In June 2022, a massive four-day workweek trial began across the U.K. And now, six months later, the results are in, and you probably could have guessed how it turned out. According to The Guardian, out of the 61 companies that entered the trial, 56 decided to extend the four-day workweek. Eighteen of those 56 opted to make the shorter workweek permanent. The results will be presented to Parliament today to hopefully urge the government to standardize the 32-hour workweek in Britain.

The trial was started by the New Zealand nonprofit 4 Day Week Global, which was the one to announce the highly successful results. “Across a wide variety of sectors, wellbeing has improved dramatically for staff; and business productivity has either been maintained or improved in nearly every case,” Joe Ryle, director of the 4 Day Week Campaign, told The Guardian.

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Companies that opted into the trial were offered mentoring to help them reassess the workweek, and employees were able to remain on the same salary. About 2,900 employees across the U.K. took part in the trial program, and 39% said they were less stressed, 40% were sleeping better and 54% said their work-life balance improved during the six-month period. The number of sick days also declined by about two-thirds, and 57% less staff left the companies that participated in the trial, compared to the year before. 

And the experiment wasn’t just good for workers. The majority of companies that participated reported that they were happy with business performance and employee productivity. As one of the countries with the worst work-life balance in the world, the United States should certainly take a page from this shorter workweek book.

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