Four-Day Workweeks Are a Smash Hit In the UK, So Let’s Bring Them Here
What if every weekend could be three days? Experiments reveal it's working for companies and employees overseas.
Getting to work one-less day a week and get paid for it? Yes, please! Whether it means that every weekend is a three-day weekend or that one random day during the week is yours to do with what you please, we’re pretty sure no one would complain about having a little more time back from the daily grind.
And it may become a reality, thanks to a British initiative called 4 Day Week Global. According to their website, more than 70 organizations in the UK are currently participating in a four-day workweek trial, which began back in June 2022.
Halfway into the six-month period, this adjusted work schedule seems to be paying off (literally). Companies are finding the new hours to be working better than they thought, and more than 3,300 employees are getting a paid day off every week.
According to a new survey of the participants taken at the halfway mark, 86% would be “extremely likely” and or “likely” to consider retaining the four-day week policy after the trial period.
“We are learning that for many it is a fairly smooth transition,” says 4 Day Week Global CEO Joe O’Connor. He acknowledges that some of the more traditional companies are having issues transitioning, but overall, the program seems to be positively impacting organizations.
In the US, some companies have already adopted the four-day workweek as the norm. Before the pandemic, creative communications company Praytell Agency already had flexible, remote work options, but found there were even more ways to meet employee needs. So, they introduced the four-day workweek back in October 2021.
“With so many of us feeling the physical, mental, and emotional toll the past years have taken on us, we didn’t need to read about burnout in the news—we could see it all around us,” says Sanji Moore, Praytell’s senior vice president of people and operations. “The four-day workweek was a start.”
The program has been so successful for the 150+ employee business that they’ve created a guide for other companies to use for inspiration.
Praytell is still figuring out the best approach for providing its employees with an extra paid day off, but according to Moore, “Building the structure together has helped us all stay on track and meet the needs of our clients as well as each other,” adding that employee input was vital in determining whether the plan was actually working for all involved.
Will more American companies institute a shorter workweek as time goes on? We certainly hope so, if only to avoid burnout and quiet quitting drama. Many bosses have learned that they will get a more productive, happy workforce if they switch up some of their old-school policies, so fingers crossed, we’ll all be living the four-day workweek life pretty soon.