They'll Work 80% of the Hours, Get 100% of the Pay

Biggest trial of 4-day workweek begins
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2022 8:00 AM CDT
Biggest Test Yet of 4-Day Workweek Starts
   (Getty Images / AmnajKhetsamtip)

The Sunday scaries may have been less of an issue for 3,300 British workers who on Monday began what is being touted as the largest trial of a four-day workweek in the world. The 6-month pilot involves 70 varied companies who are giving the 100:80:100 model a go. That's 100% of pay for 80% of the hours, with the goal of keeping productivity at 100%, reports the Guardian. Researchers at Cambridge, Oxford, and Boston College (who are working with the British thinktank Autonomy and 4 Day Week Global) will assess the impact.

Boston College sociology professor Juliet Schor calls it a "historic trial" and says "the four-day week is generally considered to be a triple dividend policy—helping employees, companies, and the climate. Our research efforts will be digging into all of this." On the employee front, researchers will be looking at how "stress and burnout, job and life satisfaction, health, sleep, energy use, [and] travel" are altered, she adds. The participating companies run the gamut: software developers, a construction recruitment firm, charities, a fish and chip shop, and a game developer.

A brewery that's giving it a go tells the BBC its nine-member staff will have to see if they can get the same amount of beer produced and packaged in just four days. "I think it's about how you use your time," says the brewery's co-founder. "When I talk about being productive I don't mean being faster at the task you're doing right now, it might be making use of the natural downtimes you have to prepare better for the following day." By Fortune's count, the previous biggest experiment of this type took place in Reykjavik, Iceland, over 2015 and 2016 and involved over 2,500 public sector workers. Autonomy says the results from that experiment were "overwhelmingly" positive. (More work stories.)

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