A global four-day workweek pilot program has resulted in positive impacts to employee well-being and productivity, according to a new report by Boston College, Cambridge University and University College Dublin.
The report analyzed responses from more than 900 employees and 33 employers participating in the six-month program between February and August. It found the vast majority (91 per cent) of employees said they were able to complete their work within the four-day schedule, with employees working an average of 35 hours per week.
While two-fifths (42 per cent) of employees said there was some increase in the complexity of their tasks, another 41 per cent reported a decrease in complexity. Nearly all (97 per cent) employees said they want to continue with a four-day workweek and only two respondents said they leaned towards not continuing with this schedule.
When asked what it would take to go back to a five-day week, two-fifths (42 per cent) of employees said they’d require a pay increase of 26 per cent to 50 per cent, while a third (32 per cent) said it would require an increase of one per cent to 25 per cent. Just 13 per cent said they’d require a raise of more than 50 per cent, while another 13 per cent said no amount of money would lure them back to a five-day schedule.
Two-thirds (67 per cent) of employees reported lower levels of burnout, compared to only 20 per cent who reported higher levels. Employees also reported improved mental health, with an average score of 3.3 out of five, up from three at the beginning of the program. Employees’ work-life balance score also increased to 3.8 from 2.8.
Among employers, overall revenue increased by 38 per cent when compared to the same six-month period in 2021, while workforces grew by an average of 12 per cent. Of the 27 employers participating in the program, 18 said they’re definitely continuing with a four-day workweek, while seven said they’re planning to continue but haven’t made a final decision yet and two said they weren’t sure.