A massive trial for a four-day work week in the United Kingdom has revealed that such an arrangement is actually effective for the purpose of keeping workers happy and less stressed-out.
Deemed the biggest of such trials in the world, the results have yielded "a major breakthrough", with a large majority of companies now planning to continue offering four-day work weeks without a reduction in wages.
The findings were to be presented to lawmakers this week, and those lobbying for the concept displayed eagerness to allow employees to switch to 32 hours of work time per week.
The trial involved 61 UK-based companies from a variety of industries and lasted six months starting from June 2022. From the 61 companies, at least 56 admitted to wanting to continue with the arrangement, while 18 even confirmed that they'd adopted the policy permanently.
Only three companies revealed that they'd not be continuing with a four-day work week schedule moving forward.
As for why this policy ended up so popular among companies, the results revealed that there was a huge drop off in illnesses and stress levels among staff members.
Specifically, around 39 percent of the total 2,900 workers involved in the trial said that they were less stressed compared to when they first began testing out the concept, while the total number of sick leaves taken dropped by around two-thirds during the test run.
Even worker retention was greatly aided by this policy, with more workers admitting to wanting to stay at their companies, and there also being a 57-percent drop in staff turnovers during the period, compared with the previous year.
Other benefits observed included reduced anxiety levels, better sleep quality, and decreased sensations of burnout among employees, while overall revenue for participating companies had also increased.
But while there were lots of upsides to consider, some workers did also admit to some negative outcomes, such as the dealing with more intense workloads as a result of having less time to work throughout the week.
Some bosses at these companies also said that this increased focus on efficiency and getting the same amount of things done in less time had led to a less sociable environment, which was something considered more undesirable for firms in creative industries such as advertising or arts.
However, 4 Day Week Campaign — the group pushing for this particular change — was more keen to focus on the positives, with director Joe Ryle referring to the results as a "breakthrough moment".
"Across a wide variety of different sectors of the economy, these incredible results show that the four-day work week with no loss of pay really works," he said.
"Surely the time has now come to begin rolling it out across the country."
With many experts also hugely upbeat about the possible widespread benefits of having a four-day work week throughout the UK, many might be feeling hopeful that policymakers will prove agreeable to pushing the concept to the forefront.