The triumphal march towards the 4-day week

Dec 5, 2022
The triumphal march towards the 4-day week

The 4-day week is gaining followers all over the world, starting with British companies that are definitely adopting the formula.

In the United Kingdom, about a hundred British companies have definitively adopted the 4-day week without any reduction in salary. This represents around 100 companies from all sectors (industry, architecture, retail, marketing, housing, construction, events, technology, etc.) and 2,600 employees who will permanently benefit from a new flexibility in work organization. 

Among the latter is Awin, a leading marketing company whose CEO, Adam Ross, shared his enthusiasm. This is “one of the most transformative initiatives we've seen in the history of the company, he says. Over the course of the last year and a half, we have not only seen a tremendous increase in employee wellness and well-being but concurrently, our customer service and relations, as well as talent relations and retention also have benefited.”1

These 100 companies are separate from the 70 other companies across the UK that are currently testing the 4-day week in a 6-month pilot, the first results of which are expected in early 2023. And other tests should be launched, including one in Scotland. This proves that the momentum for the "4 day week" is there. This means that the 4-day week without loss of pay "will become the normal way of working in this country by the end of the decade", says Joe Ryle, Director of the 4 Day Week Campaign. [1] 

Four-day work week: the employee plebiscite

Will the five-day work week soon be a relic of the past? We're not there yet, but there's a good chance that it will be phased out in favor of much more flexible models. The 4-day week (remote jobs are another example) is undoubtedly one of them.

It offers advantages that resonate with employees' current demands for a better balance between personal and professional life. In this sense, it contributes to increasing the well-being and satisfaction of employees. No wonder that 80% of British people are in favor of the formula, according to a survey conducted in 2021 by the Reed Company. What's more, it offers potential and existing employees a flexible work model that helps attract and retain talented professionals. That’s all good for the company that employs them.

Finally, let's not forget the current crisis marked by galloping inflation. In this context, companies are seeing more and more requests for salary increases. For these companies, offering the alternative of a 4-day week can be a winning choice. 

Elsewhere in the world

And this is not only true in the UK, or even in Europe. Let's go to Australia. No less than one in three Australians would immediately leave their company to join a company that offers a 4-day week, according to a study by Future X Collective.

Unsurprisingly, it is the 18-24 age group that is most receptive to the idea (40% of Australians in this age group), the least interested being the 45-64 age group (26% of this age group). And this demand is beginning to be echoed by the country's companies. After a successful trial in New Zealand, the food giant Unilever announced this month its intention to experiment with a four-day week in Australia. 

More and more countries have started tests, including Spain, Germany, Japan and Saudi Arabia. And this is just the beginning. We told you: the demand for flexibility is now universal

[1] Skynews (11/29/2022)



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