A four-day working week trial will begin in the UK from 1 June run by campaign group 4 Day Week Global.
Sixty firms with 3,000 staff have signed up to take part, giving all employees the opportunity of a three-day weekend with no loss of pay.
The scheme is based on the idea that staff will get 100% of their salary for 80% of the time and maintain 100% productivity.
The launch comes amid growing interest in the potential benefits of giving staff an extra day off.
How will the scheme work?
Businesses will work with researchers to record the impact on productivity during the pilot scheme, and will also track worker wellbeing and the impact on the environment and gender equality.
Atom Bank became one of the most recent adaptors of the four-day week last year when it moved to a permanent long-weekend without deducting pay.
Instead of reducing hours it made the four working days longer, whereas some companies have trimmed hours down to give workers permanent 32-hour weeks with no loss of pay.
Where have four day working weeks been trialled globally?
In August 2019, Microsoft Japan implemented a four-day week internationally giving 2,300 employees five Fridays off in a row.
The company said its productivity jumped 40% with meetings being more efficient, and workers took less time off - and were much happier.
In Iceland, a four day working week trial was carried out between 2015 and 2019 and was labelled an “overwhelming success” by researchers.
Workplaces that took part included hospitals and schools, moving from 40 hour weeks to 36 or 35 hours with some reporting an improved level of productivity among its employees.
The trial eventually involved more than 2,500 workers which is equal to approximately 1% of the country’s workforce.
Which UK companies will take part in the trial?
Sixty firms based in the UK will participate in the trial this summer, including large marketing firms to charities and breweries. However, only 28 have agreed to be publicly named.
The confirmed employers taking part include:
- Hutch - game developers- Yo Telecom - telecoms services- Adzooma - online marketing company- Pressure Drop Brewing - brewery- Happy - workplace consultancy services- Platten’s Fish and Chips - chip shop in Norfolk- Eurowagens - car parts retailer- Bookishly - online book and gifts shop- Outcomes First Group - education and foster care services- NeatClean - eco cleaning products firm- 5 Squirrels - skincare branding consultancy- Salamandra - animation studios- Girling Jones - recruitment firm- AKA Case Management - case management firm- IE Brand & Digital - marketing company- Helping Hands - at-home care services- Trio Media - marketing agency- Literal Humans - marketing agency- Physiquipe - rehabilitation tech firm- Tyler Grange - landscape planning consultancy- Timberlake Consultants – software engineering firm- Royal Society of Biology - professional body- Everledge - tech firm- Scotland’s International Development Alliance - industry body for Scottish charities- Amplitude - tech firm- Stemette Futures - education organisation- Comcen - computer supplies retailer- We Are Purposeful - activism organisation