Trial Shows 4-day Work Week Boosts Employee Wellbeing While Preserving Productivity | University of Cambridge

Workforce Trends

Employee well-being is a top priority for many organizations. At the same time, firms seek to increase productivity and attract and retain talent. As organizations consider various tactics to achieve these goals, one strategy a segment of firms is considering is a 4-day workweek. The 4-day work week is an alternative work schedule in which employees work a standard full-time workload (typically 40 hours) over four days instead of the traditional five days while maintaining their usual salary and benefits. And according to a recent study by a team of social scientists from the University of Cambridge, working with academics from Boston College, findings suggest potential benefits to a 4-day work week. Research involving 61 UK organizations over 6 months starting in June 2022 found that 20 percent reduction in working time with no loss of pay led to significant drops in workforce stress and sick days, an increase in worker retention, and a much better work-life balance for most employeesall while ‘key business metrics’ were met. While the findings suggest potential benefits of a 4-day work week, it’s important to note that implementation may not be suitable for all industries, organizations, and company cultures. Factors such as customer demands, operational requirements, and job roles need to be considered before adopting this work model. Nonetheless, this research provides one empirical study from which organizations can draw when evaluating this alternative work arrangement.