Another 4-day work week pilot program has ended, the data is in, and so is the verdict: More companies are joining the shift to truncated work weeks due to their immense success. The trial found employees prefer the shorter work week, and it’s good for business, too, according to the results of more than 30 participating companies in the United States and Ireland. Here’s what you need to know.
According to CNN, following a six-month pilot program that saw 33 companies and 903 workers swapping the typical 5-day work week for 4 days with no loss in pay, the results were overwhelmingly in favor of the shorter work week.
4 Day Week Global, the non-profit spearheading the pilot program, says most participating companies are unlikely to return to the standard work week. The non-profit collaborated with researchers at Boston College, University College Dublin, and Cambridge University to compile the data following the end of the 6-month trial.
The data shows that none of the companies that responded to a 4 Day Week Global survey said they intended to return to a 5-day work week. And employees feel positively about that, with 97% answering that they wish to continue with the 4-day work week.
Workers reported less stress, burnout, and fatigue after the 6-month trial, and improved mental and physical health. The employees also noted no increase in the intensity of their work with the shift to shorter work weeks.
“The extra day off of work was so important to employees that most would expect a salary increase to return to a 40-hour work week,” SEMAFOR reported.
Companies saw major benefits in earnings with the 4-day work week as well. According to the data, average revenue jumped 38% during the trial period when compared to the same period last year.
“This suggests that the work reorganization strategy succeeded, and performance was not achieved via [speeding up], which is neither sustainable nor desirable,” said Juliet Schor, a professor of sociology at Boston College and the trial’s lead researcher. Schor’s previous research has also found that workers with 4-day work weeks mostly use that time to catch up on the basics, like sleep.
Earlier this week, 100 companies in the UK announced that they were permanently committed to adopting a 4-day work week with no pay cut for employees following their trial pilot. And earlier this month, Unilever announced it was switching its Australian facilities to a 4-day work week too after a successful trial across the pond in New Zealand.
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