Why UK businesses are experimenting with four-day working week 

A four-day working week could benefit businesses by improving efficiency, productivity and staff retention. At least that’s what campaigners leading a UK trial of the four-day workweek claim. With more than 30 companies set to participate in the six-month programme, starting in the second half of 2022, we look forward to seeing the effects both on employees and their organisations.


In an article in The Standard, Joe O’Connor, the 4 Day Week Global’s pilot program manager, argues this could be the perfect remedy for the Great Resignation. He says that by focusing on output rather than time spent at work, businesses will be better able to attract and retain top talent. Lower staff turnover will reduce recruitment and training costs. And, he continues, there will also be a marked decrease in sick leave and burnout.


Atom Bank, a mobile app-based bank, adopted the four-day working week last November. All employees had their hours reduced with no reduction in salary. The trial was such a success in terms of improved employee mental and physical well-being and business productivity that it has been adopted permanently.


In terms of potential downsides, the article points to a risk of a quality downturn as people attempt to squeeze the same amount of work into 20% less time. And if people work outside the agreed hours to get the job done, that could contribute to an increase in burnout and resignation rates.


Only time will tell. We’ll keep you posted about the findings of this fascinating experiment. In the meantime, if you’d like some help recruiting the best matches for your current open vacancies, please get in touch. ABL, your trusted recruitment partner, is here to help today, tomorrow and for the long-term.