Are four day working weeks viable?

Nine out of ten UK employees reportedly support a four-day week and research has shown that over four in five (83%) UK workers believe a four-day week would improve their mental health, and 90% say their work/life balance would be better.  A further 84% said they would be more productive under the policy.

Transitioning to a four-day week isn’t something that should be taken lightly and careful planning should occur.  Belgium gave workers the right to request a four-day week in February 2022.  However, Campaigners have said that the Belgian policy, which compress the work of a normal working week into four days, defeats the point of the scheme.

We are seeing more businesses welcome further flexibility for employees to choose when they work but compressing a normal five-day week into four days is not the answer to tackling burnout, stress and overwork.  It’s essential that the move to a four-day week involves a reduction in working hours, with no loss of pay for employees.

 

Just stretching the working hours over the remaining four days is fraudulent and defeats the true purpose of the initiative. Be prepared to support employees as they adjust the rhythms and tempo The key to implementing the four-day week successfully is communicating effectively, openly and honestly with all those involved.

Should you wish to seek advice on flexible working options within the workplace, contact our qualified team of CIPD consultants.

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