A six-month trial of a four-day working week significantly reduced stress and illness within the workforce compared with a five-day working week, a U.K. study has found.
The study was conducted by a team of researchers on the University of Cambridge within the U.K., Boston College within the U.S., and the London-based think tank Autonomy, in addition to 4 Day Week Global and U.K.’s 4 Day Week Campaign.
A complete of 61 corporations and around 2,900 staff participated within the trial, which took place from June to December 2022, making it the most important trial of the concept up to now.
The study found 39 per cent of employees were less stressed after the four-day working week trial, while 71 per cent had reduced levels of burnout at the top of the trial.
“Likewise, levels of tension, fatigue and sleep issues decreased, while mental and physical health each improved,” it reads.
Of the 61 corporations that participated within the trial, 56 said they’re continuing with the four-day working week, with 18 confirming the policy is a everlasting change, the report stated.
Joe O’Connor, the director and co-founder of the Toronto-based Work Time Reduction Center of Excellence, said the concept of a four-day working week just isn’t only about changing the variety of hours that folks work, but in addition about changing the best way that folks work.
“Firms that successfully adopt a four-day week often streamline their operations, find efficiencies of their processes, introduce leaner systems,” O’Connor, who’s the previous CEO of 4 Day Week Global, told Global News.
“Additionally they attack wasteful processes and low value-adding activities like overlong and unnecessary meetings like distractions within the workday or use of technology.”
O’Connor added that the four-day working week has proven to motivate employees to satisfy the targets of the corporate.
“The four-day week is something so life-changing and so transformative for workers that it really results in people being very focused and really motivated in delivering the goals and the targets of the corporate,” O’Connor said.
The study also found that corporations’ revenue remained unchanged throughout the trial period.
As for 23 organizations that were in a position to provide data, the study found that corporations’ revenue increased marginally by 1.4 per cent on average.
As well as, 24 corporations that were in a position to provide data saw a rise of 35 per cent in revenue in comparison with the identical six-month period in 2021.
O’Connor said there was growing interest in Canadian corporations to maneuver toward shorter work weeks over the past years.
“It is a growing global movement, and we predict there’s an actual opportunity for Canada to be right on the forefront of that movement,” O’Connor said.
A survey published in January found 91 per cent of senior managers in corporate Canada polled said they might support a four-day work week for his or her team.
The survey, published by recruitment firm Robert Half, also found that just about three-quarters of staff said they might put in 4 10-hour days in exchange for an additional break day every week.
O’Connor said leaders eventually must make the choice of whether or not they need to be a “proactive pioneer” of this four-day working week global trend.
“In my view, the world of labor just isn’t going back to the best way it was in 2019,” O’Connor said. “The genie is out of the bottle and I feel the long run of labor will absolutely be shorter and it can be smarter.”
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