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Working hours continue to fall for 4-Day Week Pilot pioneers

New research from the not-for-profit 4 Day Week Global organisation revealed found that companies’ average working hours continued to fall beyond the conclusion of their six-month four-day week pilot programme.

A year after launching their trials, employees’ average work week dropped from a baseline of 38 hours to 32.97, down almost a full hour from the six-month mark.

Crucially, this reduction was not achieved via increased work intensity where people had to speed up and cram five days of tasks into four. Instead, they operated more efficiently and continued to improve these capabilities as the year progressed.

Workers’ experience with the four-day week also remained highly positive, with an unchanged rating of 9/10 beyond the trial’s conclusion. Self-rated physical and mental health measures improved over 12 months, with employees also reporting increased work-life balance scores.

Lead researcher Professor Juliet Schor of Boston College said:“Life satisfaction scores remained stable with no significant change from the trial’s endpoint to the 12-month mark. However, job satisfaction showed a slight regression after a year. This suggests the positive effects a 4 day week has on life satisfaction may be more deeply embedded in individuals’ overall well-being than in job satisfaction alone. Nonetheless, job satisfaction scores remained higher than baseline.”

Jon Leland, Chief Strategy Officer at Kickstarter, a US-based non-profit who launched its four-day week in 2021 offered:“The most profound impact was on employee retention. We’ve seen very few people choose to depart the company since the implementation of our four-day week. This has dramatically improved our ability to meet objectives and key results every quarter. While we were lucky to hit 70% prior to our pilot, we now hit more than 90%. It’s easy to think that a company might have to sacrifice some ambition to implement a 4 day week, but we have only increased the scale of our ambition since its adoption.”

Dr Dale Whelan, CEO of 4 Day Week Global added: “We’re delighted to see the positive experience people continue to have with the 4 day week beyond the conclusion of our pilot program. A concern we frequently hear is there’s no way the results from our six-month trials can be maintained, as the novelty eventually must wear off, but here we are a year later with benefits only continuing to grow. This is very promising for the sustainability of this model, and we look forward to tracking companies’ experiences well into the future.”

The full report is available to download here.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash