Have you ever dreamed about a three-day weekend all over the year? For some workers in the United Kingdom, it is becoming reality. As The Guardian reported this Monday, a hundred UK companies have signed up for a permanent four-day working week for all their employees with no loss of pay. This movement represents a revolution within Britain’s labor market.
The 100 companies employ 2,600 staff, which represent a small percentage of the UK’s working population. However, the 4 Day Week Campaign group hopes that it can become a trend soon.
According to The Guardian, supporters of the four-day week say that the five-day pattern is a hangover from an earlier economic age. For them, a four-day week would drive companies to improve their productivity. Also, they believe that the policy has proven a useful way of attracting and retaining employees.
The two biggest companies that have signed up are Atom Bank and global marketing company Awin. With 450 employees each, those companies have been accredited by the four-day week campaign.
Wellness and wellbeing
In an interview with the Guardian, Adam Ross, Awin’s chief executive, said adopting the four-day week was “one of the most transformative initiatives we’ve seen in the history of the company.
“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,” he told the British media outlet.
The Guardian also revealed that the UK campaign is also coordinating the world’s biggest pilot scheme for about 70 companies.
This project aims to employ about 3,300 workers, to adopt the four-day week in a trial with researchers at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, Boston College and thinktank Autonomy.
Joe Ryle, the UK campaign’s director, said there was increasing momentum in the adoption of the four-day week, even as companies brace for a long recession.
“We want to see a four-day week with no loss of pay become the normal way of working in this country by the end of the decade so we are aiming to sign up many more companies over the next few years,” he said.
Most of the companies that have officially adopted the four-day week are in the services However, the campaign said that some manufacturing and construction employers had also signed up.