Do you work five days a week - or more? The world's largest study about the effects of a shortened work week kicked off this month in the UK and is now coming to the United States and Canada.
The UK pilot program has 70 participating companies and 3,300 workers who are starting a trial of working only 32 hours each week but at 100% of their previous pay. The same nonprofit leading the UK pilot program, 4 Day Week Global, is currently registering interested US and Canadian businesses.
4 Day Week Global partnered with the UK think tank Autonomy, the 4 Day Week UK Campaign and researchers at Cambridge University, Boston College and Oxford University. This partnership prepared materials to mentor businesses through the implementation of a 4-day work week. In addition, a research study was prepared to take place during the first six months of the 4-day work week.
What is happening in the UK?
The UK pilot program began in February with information sessions both about how to operate a business in a 4-day week and how to measure the results in terms of productivity and employee satisfaction. Companies who signed up by the deadline of March 31st then spent the next two months preparing for the six-month trial period, including training and onboarding sessions with support teams and the establishment of baseline metrics for the research aspect of the pilot program.
The research will take place during the six-month trial period running from June 1 - November 30, 2022.
Here are the resources each of the 70 participating companies will access:
- Workshops - 4 Day Week Global and Autonomy will conduct workshops along with other companies that have successfully implemented a 4-day week. These workshops provide information about strategies and resources to help with common challenges, pitfalls, and misconceptions.
- Mentoring - Each business will be assigned a mentor specially matched to the unique needs of that business.
- Networking - The companies will network with other participating companies, providing opportunities to share learning and experiences.
- Well-being and Productivity Assessment - Researchers meet with each company to establish productivity and employee well-being metrics and to define success for that company. These metrics are tracked throughout the trial period and the company will receive a confidential impact assessment at the end of the trial.
Implementing a 4-day work week in the US and Canada
Companies explore flexible work arrangements on their own all the time. In fact, COVID accelerated the need for companies to do so, such as providing work-from-home opportunities. Other companies offer flexible hours, allowing employees to work during the hours that best suit them.
Implementing flexible work arrangements can be daunting, especially when looking at moving from a 5-day to a 4-day work week. If you are interested in implementing a 4-day work week, 4 Day Week Global provides resources to assist you, such as a book, a white paper and an FAQ. However, the easiest way would be to participate in the US and Canadian pilot program process that is starting now.
Here is the timeline:
- June - July 2022: Rollout of information sessions on the pilot program.
- July 2022: Deadline for signing up to the first phase of the pilot program.
- August 2022: Preparation, training and onboarding sessions with our support team begins.
- September 2022: Establish baseline metrics for the research aspect of the pilot and get trial-ready.
- October 2022 - March 2023 (inclusive): 6-month trial period.
You can register for and attend information sessions as follows: