UK Trial Shows Success with Four-Day Workweek

UK Trial Shows Success with Four-Day Workweek

Rafaela Silva
2 min read

The Success of the Four-Day Workweek Trial: UK Shows Productivity and Well-being Benefits

Imagine working just four days a week while still receiving a full-time salary. This concept was recently put to the test in the UK public sector, and the results are promising. The trial involved 697 employees who maintained 100% productivity while working only 80% of the time. Performance either improved or remained consistent in 22 out of 24 areas, and staff turnover decreased by 39%. Additionally, the number of external job applicants increased by 76%, highlighting the appeal of the four-day workweek. The council participating in the trial saved £371,500, primarily from reduced agency staff costs. Overall, the mental and physical health of workers improved, along with their motivation levels.

Key Takeaways

  • Four-day workweek trial in UK public sector saw 697 employees maintain 100% productivity in 80% time.
  • Performance improved or stayed same in 22/24 areas; staff turnover dropped by 39%.
  • External job applicants increased by 76% due to the four-day week appeal.
  • Council saved £371,500 primarily from reduced agency staff costs.
  • Mental and physical health of workers improved, along with motivation levels.


The four-day workweek trial in the UK public sector, led by Cambridge and Salford universities, indicates potential global shifts in labor practices. Beneficiaries include participating companies, which saved on staffing costs and saw increased applicant interest, and employees, experiencing improved well-being and productivity. Short-term impacts include higher job satisfaction and lower turnover, while long-term effects could reshape work norms globally, influencing similar adjustments in other sectors and countries. This trend could also prompt financial instruments focused on workplace efficiency and employee welfare to gain prominence.

Did You Know?

  • Four-day workweek trial in UK public sector:
    • This refers to an experimental program conducted in the United Kingdom where employees in the public sector worked four days a week while maintaining their full-time salary. The goal was to assess whether productivity could be maintained or improved with fewer working days, and to evaluate the impact on employee well-being and company costs.
  • Staff turnover dropped by 39%:
    • Staff turnover refers to the rate at which employees leave a company and are replaced by new hires. A 39% drop in staff turnover indicates that fewer employees left their positions during the trial period of the four-day workweek, suggesting that the new work schedule led to higher job satisfaction and retention.
  • Council saved £371,500 primarily from reduced agency staff costs:
    • In this context, the council refers to a local government body that participated in the trial. The savings of £371,500 were achieved mainly through reduced costs associated with hiring temporary agency staff to fill in for employees who left. This reduction in costs was likely due to the lower staff turnover and the increased appeal of the four-day workweek to potential new hires.

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