Henley Business School - leading four-day week research
“'Four-day week' refers to the working pattern where businesses offer some or all of their staff the ability to work for four days while still being paid a full-time salary.”Dr Rita Fontinha, Director of Flexibility at Henley's World of Work Institute
Surveying 500 businesses and 2000 employees, our new report, The four-day week: The pandemic and the evolution of flexible-working, explores the benefits of working fewer days to both organisations and workers.
The study follows our 2019 report Four Better or Four Worse. Explore our findings below.
Four-day week more popular after pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns and shift to remote working has had a significant impact on organisations’ attitudes towards a shorter working week.
65% of UK businesses surveyed are now implementing a four-day working week for some, or all, of their staff, compared with 50% who answered a similar survey in 2019. This means the pandemic pushed 15% more of businesses over the four-day line.
Four-day windfall - £18,000 saved per business
The four-day week saves businesses money. Businesses implementing a four-day week are already benefiting from significant financial savings, with those surveyed claiming to have saved an estimated £104bn, approximately 2.2% of the UK’s annual turnover.
Individually, this means businesses are saving £18,000 each year. As workers are happier, more productive and retention and recruitment improves, businesses' pockets are feeling the benefits.
Wellbeing boost - 78% less stress
78% of employers who implemented a four-day week policy found their employees feel less stressed at work. It improves job satisfaction too - 68% of workers said they would enjoy their work more if they only had four days.
With less travel to work and more free time, employees said they would spend the extra day with family and friends, cooking, shopping, and learning new hobbies and skills.
Four-day week experts
Four-day week in the news
See our research in the news:
- BBC News - Who gets a four-day workweek?
- People Management - Majority of businesses implementing four-day week, report finds
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