UK Four-Day Work Week Trials Begin With Over 3,300 Participants

The UK Just Launched the World’s Largest Four-Day Work Week Trials

Will this be the key to a balanced work and personal life?

After Iceland and the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom launched trials for shorter working weeks on 6 Jun 2022. Over 3,300 workers from 70 companies are taking part in this UK four-day work week program — currently the largest trial of its kind. The program is led by 4 Day Week Global, a non-profit organisation providing a global platform for like-minded individuals who wish to partake in the initiative. 

4 Day Week Global has partnered with Autonomy UK, as well as researchers from Cambridge University, Oxford University, and Boston College. Their goal and objective: To improve the quality of life among employees while maximising the UK work week. Here’s everything you need to know about the long-awaited four-day work week trial!

Note: This article was originally published on 25 Jan 2022 and has been updated accordingly. 

UK four-day work week

Image credit: Ziga Plahutar via Canva Pro

How will the UK four-day work week trials benefit businesses and employees?

The UK run this four-day work week program until December 2022. All participants will still carry out the same amount of work as before without any salary deduction, but with reduced hours each week. The participating businesses and companies come from various industries; from banking and food & beverage, to education, construction, and consultancy. This test run will help community strategists and researchers further their studies to estimate employees’ work performance under these conditions. 

“We’ll be analysing how employees respond to having an extra day off, in terms of stress and burnout, job and life satisfaction, health, sleep, energy use, travel, and many other aspects of life. The four-day week is generally considered a triple dividend policy: helping employees, companies, and the climate,” Juliet Schor, a sociology professor at Boston College and lead researcher on the program.

UK four-day work week

Image credit: JohnnyGreig via Canva Pro

The pandemic has made it harder for companies to retain their best employees. Different factors such as health concerns, burnout, stress, and anxiety affected the resignation wave. On the other hand, it showed us that changing the work set-up is possible. That said, the pilot program encourages companies to take part in a feasible and sustainable initiative. After all, this will benefit both employees and business owners in the long run. 

The UK four-day work week trials aim to solve this issue by redirecting the focus on output instead of time spent at work. This could benefit their overall performance during the new UK work week setting. Moreover, employees have more time to focus on their health and wellbeing. Not to mention, they are able to enjoy more quality time with their loved ones at home.

Also read: In Portugal, Employers Can Be Fined for Contacting Employees After Work Hours

4 Day Week Global is aiming to expand the four-day work week program in the United States and Ireland. Needless to say, people are waiting in anticipation to see if this could be the future of their work-life balance. 

Featured image credit: Johan Mouchet | Unsplash

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Andrea Larice Yap
Andrea Larice Yap

Andrea is a writer and creative individual based in Manila. This tiny human runs on iced coffee, music and films. You’ll probably catch her daydreaming in a park or jotting down random words to to put in a song. Otherwise, expect her taking a dive in the pool of uncertainty called “life.”


Marcy Miniano
Marcy Miniano

A fast-talking caffeine-dependent wordsmith, Marcy has never been one to shy away from sharing a good story or two. If she’s not in a quiet coffee shop somewhere, she enjoys spending afternoons in a museum or art gallery — whether it’s around Metro Manila or a foreign city she’s visiting. She wishes to retire in a winter village someday, so she can fulfil her lifelong dream of wearing turtlenecks all year round and owning a pet penguin.