The vast majority (91 per cent) of U.K. organizations participating in a four-day workweek pilot project say they’ll continue with a four-day workweek after the project, according to non-profit 4 Day Week Global.
The pilot program, which was conducted in the U.K, guided more than 60 organizations and almost 3,000 workers through a six-month trial of a four-day workweek with no loss of pay for employees.
The participating companies rated their overall experience of the pilot program an average of 8.5 out of 10, with business productivity and business performance each scoring 7.5/10. In addition, revenue rose by 35 per cent over the trial periods when compared to similar periods from the previous year, while hiring increased and absenteeism decreased.
The pilot program also found the health and well-being of employees improved, with significant increases observed in physical and mental health, time spent exercising and overall life and job satisfaction. Rates of stress, burnout and fatigue all fell, while problems with sleep declined.
“Results are largely steady across workplaces of varying sizes, demonstrating this is an innovation that works for many types of organizations,” said Juliet Schor, professor of sociology at Boston College and a lead researcher on the global program, in a press release. “There are also some interesting differences. We found that employees in non-profits and professional services had a larger average increase in time spent exercising, while those in construction/manufacturing enjoyed the largest reductions in burnout and sleep problems.”
While the pilot program found both men and women benefited from a four-day workweek, women’s experience was generally better. “This is the case for burnout, life and job satisfaction, mental health and reduced commuting time,” said Dale Whelehan, a behavioural scientist and the chief executive officer of 4 Day Week Global, in the release. “Encouragingly, the burden of non-work duties appears to be balancing out, with more men taking on a greater share of housework and childcare.”
According to 4 Day Week Global, results from the Australian pilot program will be released in the coming weeks, while results from Brazil, Europe, North America and South Africa will be released in the coming months.