70 UK Companies Will Test Out the 4-Day Work Week

Over 3,000 workers will have a shorter work with the same pay.


In the UK, dozens of companies are planning to test out the four-day work week. According to 4 Day Work Week Global, the UK is launching the largest pilot program yet, and 3,300 employees from 70 companies will be participating in this program. The shorter week won't result in any reduced pay. So employees will work four days a week but still receive the same pay as if they were working five days a week.

The 70 companies will trial the shorter four-day week for six months. During that time, companies will be operating on the principle of the 100:80:100. Essentially, it means that employees will be paid for full time (100%) for working 80% of full time hours, with the expectation of productivity that matches or surpasses the five-day work week.

“We have long been a champion of flexible working, but the pandemic really moved the goalposts in this regard. For Charity Bank the move to a four-day week seems a natural next step,” said Ed Siegel, CEO of Charity Bank, a company participating in the pilot, in a press release. “The 20th-century concept of a five-day working week is no longer the best fit for 21st-century business.”

Recently, other companies and countries have adopted four-day work weeks. Panasonic in Japan announced that it would trial the work schedule in January 2022. Other companies in New Zealand also adopted the schedule back in 2018, and after a successful trial period kept it permanently. A four-year study in Iceland showed that workers who worked four days a week were overall found to be healthier, happier, and more productive at work, compared to those who worked five days a week.

The 70 businesses in the UK participating in the trial represent a wide range of industries including education, banking, financial services, IT software training, housing, online retail and so many more. Some of the companies are larger corporations, while others are small, family owned businesses.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, more and more companies are recognizing that the new frontier for competition is quality of life, and that reduced-hour, output-focused working is the vehicle to give them a competitive edge,” Joe O Connor, CEO of 4 Day Week Global, said. “The impact of the 'great resignation' is now proving that workers from a diverse range of industries can produce better outcomes while working shorter and smarter.”

The trial will be studied by researchers to evaluate how the shorter week is impacting both employees and businesses. Similar trial programs are expected to begin in Scotland and Spain sometime late this year. 

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.