Several companies in the United Kingdom are making a transition from the usual five-days week structure to a permanent four-day working week. According to a report by The Guardian, a hundred companies have adopted this set-up for all their employees without any salary cuts. Albeit, these UK companies, employing about 2,600 people, constitute a tiny fraction of the country’s working population. However, the 4-Day Week Campaign group expects that this will bring a major change in the future.
The report highlights that presently most of the companies – implementing the four-day week set-up – are in the services sector, including technology, events or marketing companies. But the campaign hopes that manufacturing and construction firms will adopt it soon.
Arguments in support of 4-day a week employment
Supporters say a four-day week would encourage companies to improve their overall staff productivity. They can yield more with the same output using fewer hours.
Adam Ross, chief executive of Awin- one of the biggest companies that have signed up for the campaign, termed choosing the four-day week as one of the most transformational initiatives they have had in the company’s history. “Over the course of the last year and a half, we have not only seen a tremendous increase in employee wellness and wellbeing but concurrently, our customer service and relations, as well as talent relations and retention also have benefited,” Ross told The Guardian.
The demand for reduced working days has got traction in recent times. Several countries such as Belgium, Spain, Japan, New Zealand, Ireland, Scotland, and Iceland have a four days work week by bringing down the weekly working hours.
In India, the newly introduced wage code 2022 allows companies to frame ‘four days a week’ work setup. However, the working hours are still capped at 48 hours; this means the employer is allowed to extend working hours of a day.