A year after the World’s largest shorter workweek trial: success and permanence

The experiments show how such an organizational structure is capable of translating into an increase in motivation, productivity, turnover, and overall well-being among employees

A year on from the results of the world’s largest experiment on a four-day workweek, the majority of participating companies have permanently adopted the scheme, reporting significant and lasting success.

The trial, which took place between June and December 2022, saw 61 British companies test out the four-day workweek. During this pilot program, employees worked 20% fewer hours while maintaining the same professional goals and salary.

The results one year later

According to the follow-up study, the experiment was a notable success. Of the 61 participating companies, at least 54 (or 89%) reported still implementing the four-day workweek a year later. Furthermore, at least 31 companies have made the four-day week permanent, accounting for 51% of all participants.

four-day workweek

@Autonomy Research

A unanimous 100% of consulted managers and CEOs stated that the four-day week had a “positive” or “very positive” impact on their organizations, with some even reporting increased turnover. When asked about the changes brought by the shorter workweek:

  • 82% of surveyed companies reported positive impacts on staff well-being
  • 50% observed positive effects on staff turnover reduction
  • 32% said the policy significantly improved hiring

A separate follow-up survey with staff from 47 of the original pilot companies also indicated that improvements in physical and mental health, work-life balance, and overall life satisfaction—along with reductions in burnout—seen at the end of the original pilot were maintained a year later. Data showed that 39% of employees felt less stressed, and 71% experienced reduced burnout levels.

Four-day workweek in UK

@Autonomy Research

Through interviews with staff and managers, numerous positive initiatives and strategies that organizations used to maintain their four-day workweek policies emerged, including rethinking norms around meetings, communications, work priority setting, and more.

Work-life balance measures also improved during the trial and beyond: employees found it easier to maintain family and social commitments, with 54% finding it easier to balance work with household chores.

Interestingly, about a hypothetical trade-off between work hours and compensation, 70% stated they would ask for a higher salary—ranging from 10 to 50% more—to return to the longer workweek. Another 8% would ask for an increase of more than 50%, while 15% said no amount of money could take them back from the four-day week.

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