At one time, the prospect of a four-day work week – followed by three blissful days of freedom – would have felt like a distant dream to most of the working population. But in recent years, it’s a reality that has been edging closer and closer to the mainstream. Founded in 2019, the 4 Day Week Global Foundation was launched to achieve exactly that, by funding research into the future of work and workplace wellbeing. Over the last three years, the team behind the foundation have been running a series of four-day week trials in countries around the world, including Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and, most recently, the UK.
The early findings, released late last year, are promising. Of the 30 companies and almost 1,000 employees who took part in the six-month pilot schemes across various regions, while still taking home the same pay, none decided to return to a five-day week. Workers felt less stressed and burnt out, and reported higher rates of life satisfaction. The business case showed that there was less absenteeism and resignations, with revenue increasing by an average of 8% over six months. When compared to the same six months in 2021, that rose to 38%.