Most UK firms in four-day work week trial opt to continue

Most UK firms in four-day work week trial opt to continue

02/22/2023 - 12:42

A large trial of the four day working week in UK companies has been hailed a ‘major breakthrough’, with almost all of the participating companies choosing to continue using a shortened working pattern.

Staff participating in the scheme reported a much improved work-life balance and companies reported maintained or improved business productivity in almost every case.

The six-month trial, which involved 61 companies, found that 56 of them will continue with the four-day week, with 18 opting to make it a permanent change.

Crucially, employees taking part in the challenge retained their existing salary while working four days instead of five. 

The findings have been presented to members of Parliament to support a campaign calling for a 32-hour week for all UK workers.

Joe Ryle, Director of the 4 Day Week Campaign, hailed the trial as a “major breakthrough moment”, stating that the results across a range of sectors demonstrate that the time has come to roll out a four-day week more widely.

The pilot, which was the world’s largest trial of a shorter working week, was launched in June last year. It was run by not-for-profit organisation 4 Day Week Global and overseen by think tank Autonomy and a team of academics. The organisers gave participating companies mentoring and workshops to help them re-evaluate working practices.

According to a report, 39% of the 2,900 staff involved in the scheme reported feeling less stressed. The number of sick days taken during the trial also decreased by around two-thirds.

Despite the trial taking place during the ‘great resignation,’ which has seen workers leaving their jobs in record numbers, four-day employees were much more likely to remain in their positions.

Participating companies experienced a 57% reduction in staff turnover compared to the same period in the previous year, indicating that the trial had a positive impact on employee retention.

Miles Grady, Director of, said: “A four-day work week is clearly popular, and this research appears to confirm that companies don’t see a dip in productivity.

“If more employers do move towards a four day work week, it’s important they look at a fair deal for atypical and non-salaried workers such as umbrella and flexible workers.”

For more information about flexible working through an umbrella company, speak to a member of the team today. Call: 01625 544 460.