One hundred UK companies have signed up for a permanent four-day working week for all their employees with no loss of pay. According to the Guardian, at least 100 companies employ 2,600 people, a tiny fraction of the UK's working population, but the 4 Day Week campaign group hopes they will be the start of a situation that will eventually become permanent across all sectors of work.
The two largest companies to sign up are Atom Bank and global marketing firm Awin, which each have around 450 employees in the UK. They have been accredited by the four-day week campaign, meaning they have shown that they have actually reduced hours for workers rather than forcing them into longer days.
Adam Ross, chief executive of Awin, said: "The adoption of the four-day week has been one of the most transformative initiatives we have seen in the history of the company. Over the last year and a half, we have not only seen a huge increase in employee well-being and well-being, but our customer service and relationships as well as talent relationships and retention have also benefited." For some early adopters the policy has also proved to be a useful way to attract and retain employees.
The organizers of this initiative argue that the four-day week would push companies to improve their productivity, which means they can create the same output using fewer hours. Joe Ryle, campaign manager in the UK, said there was growing momentum in adopting the four-day week, even as businesses brace for a long recession: "We want a four-day week without loss salary increases become the normal way to work in this country by the end of the decade, so we aim to enroll many more companies over the next few years.With many companies struggling to afford pay rises of 10%, we are starting to see growing evidence that a four-day week with no loss of pay is offered as an alternative solution." The UK campaign is also coordinating the world's largest pilot project for around 70 companies, employing around 3,300 workers, to adopt the four-day week in a trial with researchers from the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, Boston College and the Autonomy think tank.
In September, 88% of those companies in a mid-trial survey said the four-day week was working "well" for their business at that stage of the trial. About 95% of companies surveyed said productivity has remained the same or improved since the introduction.
Most of the companies that have officially adopted the four-day week are in the service sector such as technology, events or marketing companies.