A hundred UK companies switch to four-day working week with no pay cut

Proponents say the five-day week is a hangover from an old economic age

Lucy Skoulding
Monday 28 November 2022 08:12 GMT
Company introduces four day work week and says productivity is through the roof

A hundred companies in the UK have signed up to switch to a four-day working week without cutting any pay.

The 4 Day Week Campaign hopes the 100 companies, employing 2,600 staff in total, will help bring about a transformative change for the country.

Supporters of the four-day week say a five-day working week pattern is just a hangover from an old economic age that’s no longer necessary.

They argue that companies can improve their productivity and get the same amount of work done in fewer hours - and the four-day week would spark this improvement in productivity.

Early adopters of the policy have also found it a great way of attracting new employees and retaining staff.

The two biggest companies in the UK which have signed up to adopt the new working pattern is Atom Bank and a marketing company called Awin, which currently has 450 members of staff in the UK.

They have been accredited by the campaign, meaning it has been proven that they have genuinely reduced working hours for staff rather than just condensing the same number of hours into fewer days.

Awin’s chief executive Adam Ross told The Guardian that switching to the four-day working week was “one of the most transformative initiatives we’ve seen in the history of the company”.

He continued: “Over the course of the last year and a half, we have not only seen a tremendous increase in employee wellness and wellbeing but concurrently, our customer service and relations, as well as talent relations and retention also have benefited.”

The 4 Day Week Campaign is also running the world’s largest pilot for the working pattern for approximately 70 companies employing 3,300 workers.

It’s a trial alongside researchers at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge as well as Boston College and the thinktank Autonomy.

When asked in September - in the middle of their trial - how it was going, 88 per cent of companies said the new way of working was going “well”.

Around 95 per cent of companies said productivity from employees had either stayed the same or improved since before the trial.

Joe Ryle, UK director for the campaign, said there has been increasing momentum for the adoption of the four day week even in the current economic climate.

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