A group of companies say they plan to continue with a 4-day workweek after workers on a trial took fewer sick days and resignations fell

A group of companies say they plan to continue with a 4-day workweek after workers on a trial took fewer sick days and resignations fell
2,900 employees in the UK took part in the four-day workweek trial.jacoblund/Getty Images
  • A UK four-day workweek trial published its results on Tuesday.
  • 92% of the 61 companies which took part say they plan to continue with the policy.

All but five of 61 companies which took part in a recent four-day working week trial in the UK say they will continue with the policy, according to the results released Tuesday.

The study was led by academics from the University of Cambridge and Boston College, alongside the research organization Autonomy, and campaigners 4 Day Week Global. It involved 2,900 employees in the UK across the second half of last year, from a range of industries including finance, advertising, healthcare, and construction.

The researchers found that fewer workers quit or took sick days during this period versus the same time the year before. And of the 23 companies that shared sales numbers, on average these businesses saw a 35% jump in revenues compared to the same period in 2021. It is not clear whether any of these results are directly impacted by a change to the four-day week, however.

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Companies were free to implement the policy in various ways so long as the average working week was around 32 hours long and pay was kept the same. The most popular option was simply giving staff the Friday off, taken by almost one-third of participants.

A quarter of the companies split into two teams taking either Monday or Friday off to ensure coverage across the week, with another 25% ensuring staff didn't have a common day off. Other companies were more flexible in how staff spent their extra eight hours – changing it up week-to-week or taking some half-days.


Last June, Adrian McMahon of the 4 Day Week Campaign told Rolling Stone: "If we're all better rested and happier, there's a whole lot of preventative health there. We know how much stress can impact someone's poor health."

And at the end of the trial, 71% of employees said they had reduced levels of burnout, while 39% said they were less stressed. One person interviewed by the researchers said they no longer had any "Sunday dread," referring to the anxiety felt before a new week.

"Before the trial, many questioned whether we would see an increase in productivity to offset the reduction in working time – but this is exactly what we found," said Professor Brendan Burchell, who led the University of Cambridge research.

"Many employees were very keen to find efficiency gains themselves," he added.