The results of the first 4 day week trial in the UK are in! AKA took part in the trial, which ran from June to December 2022 and has been a resounding success!
Of the 61 companies that participated, 56 are continuing with the four-day week (92%), with 18 confirming the policy is a permanent change. AKA are one of these companies!
We are implementing the four-day week permanently going forwards thanks to the positive results shown during the trial, which included feedback from clients, stakeholders and internal staff. We have always had a well-being focus and wanted to be at the forefront of innovation in this area. Adopting the 4 day-week demonstrates our commitment to putting this into practice.
Across the companies taking part in the trial, some of the most extensive benefits of shorter working hours were found in employees’ well-being. ‘Before and after’ data shows that 39% of employees were less stressed, and 71% had reduced levels of burnout at the end of the trial. Likewise, levels of anxiety, fatigue and sleep issues decreased, while mental and physical health both improved.
Measures of work-life balance also improved across the trial period. Employees also found it easier to balance their work with both family and social commitments – for 54%, it was easier to balance work with household jobs – and employees were also more satisfied with their household finances, relationships and how their time was being managed.
60% of employees found an increased ability to combine paid work with care responsibilities, and 62%
reported it easier to combine work with social life.
However, other key business metrics also showed signs of positive effects from shorter working hours.
Companies’ revenue, for instance, stayed broadly the same over the trial period, rising by 1.4% on
average, weighted by company size, across respondent organisations. When compared to a similar period
from previous years, organisations reported revenue increases of 35% on average – which indicates healthy growth during this period of working time reduction.
The number of staff leaving participating companies decreased significantly, dropping by 57% over the trial period.
For many, the positive effects of a four-day week were worth more than their weight in money. 15% of
employees said that no amount of money would induce them to accept a five-day schedule over the four-day week to which they were now accustomed.