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Are four-day weeks the future? The results are in…

Last month, the results of the world’s largest four-day working week trial were published. In this blog post we share the key findings from this trial. We also look at what this means for the future of office design.

Koura Office Design by Opus4 update (72)

What is a four-day working week?

The Covid pandemic had a major impact on the world of work and brought about a significant shift towards flexible working. Hybrid working and flexible hours have become much more popular in recent years. However, many campaigners are now pushing for employers to go even further and offer their staff the option to work a four-day week. 

A four-day week is pretty much what it says on the tin. Staff work four days a week and get three days off. However, there would be no reduction in pay. Employees receive the same salary for four days that they did for five.

What is the four-day working week trial?

To better understand the implications for organisations considering a four-day week, a UK pilot scheme was developed last year. Taking place from June to December 2022, around 2,900 workers at 61 companies took part. Participating employers included a brewery, a games design company and even a fish and chip shop.

The trial was the UK’s first major pilot of this kind and the world’s largest to date. It was promoted by 4 Day Week Global and overseen by the thinktank Autonomy and a team of academics.

 What do the results show?

The four-day working week trial was considered a huge success. To date, 92% of companies continued with a four-day week. Key findings include:

Take a look at the report in full.

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Would a four-day week work for my business?

Organisations of all sizes and sectors took part in the trial showing that four-day weeks could be suitable for most businesses. Interestingly, each participating company was given the freedom to design a policy tailored to their particular industry and culture. These included:

Whether a four-day working week is right for your business will very much depend on the model you choose and how you implement it.

What does this mean for office design?

 With staff in the office fewer hours per week, the role of the workplace only becomes more important. After all, if you’re not in the office as much, you’ll want to make the most of your time there. When it comes to office design and fitout, businesses will need to consider:

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What’s next?

The results from the UK trial demonstrate a strong appetite to take the four-day working week from experimentation to implementation. If you’re ready to take the leap and want to get your office ready, get in touch. We’d love to help you make this new way of working a reality for your organisation.

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