Working a four-day week 'slashes stress and illness WITHOUT compromising on productivity', major study finds | The Sun

Working a four-day week 'slashes stress and illness WITHOUT compromising on productivity', major study finds | The Sun


UNTIL recently, the prospect of working four days a week was just wishful thinking for most employees. 

But a trial has found slashing the working week by a day boosts employee wellbeing while preserving productivity.

Medics have now suggested a four-day week may be on the cards for some companies.

British researchers found that, 71 per cent of employees involved in the six-month trial experienced less work-related “burnout".

And 39 per cent said that dropping a day of work left them feeling less stressed, compared to the start of the trial.

There was a 65 per cent reduction in sick days, and a 57 per cent fall in the number of staff quitting their jobs, compared to the same period the previous year. 

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Revenue, for all 61 companies in the trial, barely changed during the six month period – even increasing marginally by 1.4 per cent on average. 

Lead researcher, Professor Brendan Burchell of Cambridge University said: “Many employees were very keen to find efficiency gains themselves.

"Long meetings with too many people were cut short or ditched completely.

"Workers were much less inclined to kill time, and actively sought out technologies that improved their productivity."

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Joe Ryle, director of the 4 Day Week Campaign, calls the results a “major breakthrough moment” for the idea of shorter working weeks.

“Across a wide variety of different sectors of the economy, these incredible results show that the four-day week actually work," he added.

The trial involved 2,900 employees who worked in a range of roles from consultancy, housing, IT, skincare, recruitment, hospitality, marketing, and healthcare.

Some companies stopped work completely for a three-day weekend, while others staggered a reduced workforce over a week.

And by the end of the six-month trial, many of the managers said they could not imagine returning to a five-day week.

In a report of the findings, almost all (92 per cent) of companies that took part in the UK pilot programme said they planned to continue with the four-day working week.

Prof Brendan added: “When we ask employers, a lot of them are convinced the four-day week is going to happen.

"It has been uplifting for me personally, just talking to so many upbeat people over the last six months.

"A four-day week means a better working life and family life for so many people.”

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In November last year Atom Bank and global marketing company Awin, that both have 450 companies revealed they would be adopting a four-day-week.

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