Once thought a wacky idea, the four-day work week is fast becoming a trend in the UK as firms look for ways to increase productivity and attract the best talent.
Today about 70 British firms start a historical trial – working less than one day a week with employees at full pay – and they are joining a growing list of employers doing so.
Atom Bank came into limelight last year when it Lasted four days Weeks without reducing pay.
It was by far the largest British employer after successful trials in other countries showed it could be good for business.
The Durham firm told us: “At Atom, happy and healthy partners = happy and healthy customers.
“It’s business as usual.”
Meanwhile, Girling Jones, a construction recruitment firm in Exeter, switched to a four-day week in January.
Since then, productivity has increased and profits have soared, says boss Simon Garling. told the bbc,
He added: “All of our inputs – calls, meetings, interviews, are up … just everybody doing more in less time.”
Staff member Alain Andreasson said: “I’m definitely more motivated.
“One thing I’ve noticed is sleep. I’m sleeping much better and it’s a lot easier to wake up.”
Leeds finance firm BWD began a four-day week without reducing pay in 2021 after a “remarkable” three-month trial.
and London software developers went over a three-day weekend in December with IriusRisk CEO Christina Benteau telling forbes The firm received ten new CVs within 24 hours of the news.
Some firms, such as Atom, have opted to squeeze the five-day hours into four longer days, leaving Fridays free for the entire company.
Others cut hours, hoping that employees will use their time more efficiently, and let them choose their day.
Today dozens more UK companies are following it as part of World’s largest test of four-day work,
They range from large IT firms to a small fish and chip shop in Norfolk.
Nine workers at Pressure Drop Brewery in Tottenham, north London, will try to produce the same amount of beer in four days instead of five.
Co-founder Sam Smith told the BBC: “I think it’s about how you use your time.
“So when I talk about being productive I don’t mean getting faster at what you’re doing right now, maybe it’s using up the natural downtime that you’ll need next. Have to prepare better for the day.”
The six-month trial is being run by academics from the universities of Oxford and Cambridge with a think tank and campaigners.
Researchers say workers can shift to more flexible patterns with little or no decline in productivity.
Benefits for employers include reduced sick absenteeism and reduced employee turnover, reduced hiring costs.
It also attracts talented candidates who want better work-life balance.
Which UK employers are participating in the trial?
There are about 70 companies and organizations in the pilot but only 28 have publicly announced that they are participating.
- Royal Society of Biology – Professional body
- Hutch – Mobile Game Developer
- Yo Telecom – Telecom Services
- Adzooma – Online Marketing Services
- Pressure Drop Brewing – Brewery
- Happy – Workplace Consulting Services
- Platten’s Fish & Chips – The Chip Shop in Norfolk
- Eurowagens – Car Parts Retailer
- Bookishly – Online Book & Gift Shop
- Results Group 1 – Education and foster care services
- NeatClean – Eco Cleaning Products Firm
- 5 Squirrel – Skincare Branding Consultancy
- Salamandra – Animation Studio
- Girling Jones – Recruitment Firm
- AKA Case Management – Case Management Firm
- IE Brand & Digital – Marketing Company
- Helping Hands – Home Care Services
- Trio Media – Marketing Agency
- Literal Human – Marketing Agency
- Physiquip – Rehabilitation Tech Company
- Tyler Grange – Landscape Planning Consultancy
- Timberlake Consultants -Software Firm
- Everledge – Tech Firm
- International Development Coalition of Scotland – industry body for Scottish charities
- Dimensions – Tech Firm
- Stemate Futures – Education Organization
- Comsen – Computer Supplies Retailer
- We Are Purposeful – Activism Organization
Which companies were already in the four day week?
Here is a list of UK firms that offer a four day week at full pay:
- 3D Issue – Printing Software Firm in Donegal
- Advice Direct Scotland – Non-Profit Organization in Glasgow
- Atom Bank – Finance Firm in Durham
- Autonomy – think tank researching the future of work
- Evin – Consultancy Firm
- Big Potato Games – Board game manufacturer in East London
- Blink – Norwich E-commerce Firm
- Canon – the UK branch of the global camera giant in Edinburgh
- CMG Technologies – Suffolk 3D Metal Molding Firm
- Causeway Irish Housing Association – London non-profit
- Charlton Norris – Recruitment Firm in Leeds
- Crystallized – Newcastle Marketing Agency
- Earth Science Partnership – Research Group in Cardiff
- Electra Lighting – London Lighting Consultants
- Evolve – Online Marketing Specialist in North East
- FLOCK – Cambridge and London based marketing agency
- Geeks for Social Change – Manchester Software Developers
- Gracefruit – Glasgow Cosmetics Firm
- The Landmark Hotel London – Upmarket Hotel in Marylebone
- Heritage Events – Management Agency in Oxford
- MRL – Brighton recruiters specializing in technology and finance
- People and Transformational HR – Nortent Design and Marketing Consulting
- Punch Creative – Boutique Digital Marketing Agency in Leeds
- Reboot – Hertfordshire Advertising Agency
- Resilience Brokers – Climate Finance Firm Based in London
- Bounty Agency – Manchester Advertising Agency
- Stop AIDS – London HIV Charity
- Sinister Fish Games – Lincoln-based board game maker
- Social Enterprise Direct – Glasgow Finance Firm
- Soft Success – Consulting and Training Provider in London
- StreamGo – Sunderland-based indie events platform
- T-Cup Studio – Bath Boutique Consultancy
- Target Publishing – Essex Indie Publishers
- Technovent – Hi-Tech Medical Services Supplier in South Wales
- The Circle – Charities and Nonprofits Center in Dundee
- UPAC Group – Glasgow Packing Firm
- Venture Stream – Newcastle Marketing Agency
- YWCA Scotland – Young Women’s Movement based in Glasgow
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