More than 3,000 staff members at 70 firms will be enjoying their first of many four-day working weeks as the largest trial of its kind launches in the UK.
The highly anticipated six-month pilot involving companies across the four British nations has begun, with the trial seeking to shed some light on the impact a permanent three-day weekend can have on wellbeing, productivity, the environment and gender equality.
The trial is being organised by campaign group 4 Day Week Global in partnership with think tank Autonomy and the 4 Day Week UK Campaign, and will be evaluated by researchers at Cambridge University, Oxford University and Boston College in the US.
Announced in January, the trial has captured the imagination of the British public and businesses alike, with “hundreds” of companies expressing their interest in the pilot. Those that signed up to participate range from racing games designer Hutch, to the Royal Society of Biology, a Sheffield-based robots company, a housing society in Merthyr Tydfil, and London brewery Pressure Drop Brewing.
Ed Siegel, CEO of Charity Bank, said he believes participating in the pilot will “put Charity Bank on the right side of history.’”
He said: “The 20th-century concept of a five-day working week is no longer the best fit for 21st-century business. We firmly believe that a four-day week with no change to salary or benefits will create a happier workforce and will have an equally positive impact on business productivity, customer experience and our social mission.”