A large-scale test involving more than 70 UK companies assesses the impact of working time reduction in companies. It gives largely positive results so far.
“The four-day week has so far been a great success for us: productivity has remained high, with an increase in team well-being”, notes the head of Trio Media, a marketing agency in the north of England. The association 4 Days Week Global and the universities of Cambridge and Oxford revealed on Tuesday the preliminary results of a large-scale experiment launched in June for a period of six months. More than 70 UK companies – around 3,300 employees – have taken the plunge during the four-day week. And so far, they don’t regret it.
Of the employers who responded to the preliminary results survey, 88 per cent were “said the four-day week worked ‘well’ for their business at this time.” And 86% would even be ready to keep this pace at the end of the trial period. In addition to empowering employees to achieve a better work-life balance, almost half of companies have seen productivity sustain, a third believe it has even “slightly improved” and 15% that she “substantially improved”.
Although generally beneficial, this measure still needs to be adjusted. “Too many of us see that [de sociétés] the transition is quite fluid, but that for some there are obstacles»especially those that show corporate cultures “dating back to the last century”according to Joe O’Connor, general manager of 4 Day Week Global.
“Significantly more productive”
“It wasn’t a walk in the park at first” and “some weeks are easier than others”, for her part, testifies Nicci Russell, director general of Waterwise, an NGO working to reduce water consumption in Great Britain. She particularly points to difficulties when going on holiday “but we are much more comfortable now than when we started”. The manager also adds that it has an effect “fantastic for our well-being and that we are already much more productive”.
Similar experiments have taken place or are underway in Spain, Iceland, Ireland, New Zealand, the United States and Canada. In France, the four-day week has yet to make its political breakthrough, but French companies have begun to test the waters. For example, the LDLC signed an agreement in January 2021 to implement a four-day (32-hour) week. If certain parties such as LFI or EE-LV campaign for this adaptation of working hours, the majority of the president prefers to go for the tax exemption for overtime or the monetization of RTT. Or actually an effective increase in working hours.