The 4-day week has come to stay

The 4-day week has come to stay

In the past few years, the 4-day week movement has grown a lot. A great number of businesses and organizations around the world are trying out and switching to a 4-day work week of about 32 hours, with no less pay for workers. 

Most of these businesses and organizations have found that a 4-day week is good for both employees and employers. Several tests have shown that it leads to a better balance between work and life, less stress, and more work getting done.

One of the most relevant and recent on this matter has been the 4-day week UK pilot program with insightful results so far. This article aims to analyze the results of this initiative as well as the most recent data from TalentUp on the topic of the 4-day week.

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4-day week UK pilot program

The programme has been led by an independent, non-partisan initiative that is campaigning across the UK for a 4-day, 32 hour working week with no loss of pay for workers, 4 Day Week UK.

In the largest test of a 4-day week ever done anywhere in the world. More than 70 companies and organizations in the UK are trying out a 4-day work week from June to December 2022. Employees will not lose pay during this time.

More than 3,300 workers in the UK from more than thirty different industries are getting 100% of their pay for 80% of their time in exchange for a promise to keep their productivity at 100%.

4 Day Week Campaign is working with 4 Day Week Global and the researchers at Cambridge University, Oxford University, and Boston College to run the pilot. Similar pilot programs are also happening in Ireland, the US and Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Israel.

First results and conclusions

Just as they reached the equator of the campaign in the UK, the first results of the program were made public.

Respondents to a short internal check-in survey of the participating companies, which was done around the halfway point of the pilot, had different ideas and approaches to the pilot. There were a number of questions with more than one answer on a scale from 1 to 5. From the 41 companies that answered:

At this point in the trial, 88% of respondents said that the 4-day week works “well” for their business;

46% of those who answered say their business productivity has “stayed about the same”, 34% say it has “improved a little,” and 15% say it has “improved a lot.”

On a scale where 5 is “extremely smooth” and 1 is “extremely hard,” 29% of respondents chose “5” extremely smooth , 49% choose “4” smooth, and 20% choose “3” neutral;

At this point in the trial, 86% of respondents said that they would be “extremely likely” or “likely” to think about keeping the 4-day week policy after the trial.

We can see that, on the whole, it’s worked out well and had a great acceptance. The majority of those who answered are happy with the 4-day week. Their productivity hasn’t gone down; in fact, it’s gone up for half of the people involved. Employees have also said that switching to this system has been easy.

At the end of the program, most people will want to keep having a 4-day week. In other words, the 4-day week has come to stay and is more than probable over the next few years, this perk will be mentioned in job ads more and more.

What TalentUp’s data have to say on the matter?

When analyzing the TalentUp data of the job descriptions of the last two years, we can notice a great increase in the jobs ads that include the term “4-day week” in 2022.

According to data compiled by TalentUp, the term 4-day week appeared in only 687 job postings in 2019, 1468 in 2020, and 839 in 2021. In the last few months of 2022, the number of job postings containing the phrase “4-day week” has skyrocketed to unprecedented levels, with 6,872 results as of October 7th. We are observing a significant phenomenon that may become more prevalent in certain fields in the coming years.

Also, if we look at the results of studies like the one discussed in this article and how hard it is for some companies to find the right people, it is more than likely that we will see an upward trend in value-added industries that will become more and more usual.

To be aware in real time of what is happening in the talent market and the benefits and salaries that are being offered, we put at your disposal the TalentUp Salary Platform.

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About Author

Albert Mercadé Laborda

Marketing Manager. Albert is fascinated by current labor trends, technology, and the humanities, as well as their interconnections. His main objective is to create a compelling communication experience that resonates with the audience.