The non-profit organization "4 Day Week Global" (4 Day Week Global) implementation of the pilot program shows that the four-day work system is feasible.
A survey released on Tuesday by the Global Four-Day Workweek found that 78% of leaders of more than 70 UK companies with a four-day workweek said they had a smooth or "seamless" transition. Only 2% found it challenging. The majority (88%) said the four-day workweek was effective.
The six-month pilot program is currently running in the UK, US, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, and Canada, and includes more than 180 companies. In this plan, employers typically move to a four-day, 32-hour workweek (varies by job and industry), but don't take pay cuts.
In the UK pilot, companies surveyed halfway through had a total of 3,300 employees. The initiative has partnered with the 4 Day Week Campaign and think tank Autonomy, as well as a data collection partnership with researchers at Boston College, Cambridge, and Oxford Universities.
Almost all UK companies participating in the pilot scheme (86%) said they were likely to keep their four-day work schedule after the pilot ended in November, the survey showed. Nearly half (49%) of respondents said productivity has increased, while 46% said productivity has remained stable.
"It's very encouraging," said Joe O'connor, CEO of the Global Four-Day Workday, who had expected more stable output from companies. "If this productivity continues, we would consider it a huge productivity success."
However, O'Connor also said that not all companies that started the trial have completed the project. About one in five employers will quit, more than half of them at the pre-planning stage. Executives who participated in the pilot study said they faced the dual challenge of overcoming the five-day work norm of employees and the industry and the tricky task of improving workflows to achieve the same output in four days.