After the UK just began a trial run of a 4-day work week, we can’t help but hope that if all goes well, this could be implemented in Chicago at a future date.
The 4 Day Week Campaign is an initiative striving to “[build] a world where we work to live, rather than live to work,” in partnership with the think tank Autonomy, & researchers at Cambridge University, Boston College and Oxford University.
This 6-month trial that officially started on June 26 is similar to ones performed in Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and even the United States, where the workweek is reduced to 32 hours with no loss in pay.
The pilot will involve workshops, mentoring, networking, and well-being & productivity assessments. The trial period is set to run from June 2022 to December 2022 for interested organizations in the UK.
According to the campaign, implementing a 4-day work week would result in benefits for employers, workers, society, the economy, and the environment. By reducing the work week’s total hours, employees would have an improved work-life balance, better rest & leisure time, & more opportunities to tackle “life admin” tasks such as cleaning, parenting, etc.
A 2019 study at the Henley Business School confirmed that a 4-day work week saved 250 participating firms nearly £92 billion a year (~$104 billion) due to employees being happier, less stressed, and healthier. “Put simply, a rested worker is a better worker.”
Moreover, the campaign has found research proving lower unemployment, increased productivity, better mental & physical health, a stride in gender equality, and a reduced carbon footprint as a result of one less day on the job.
And though a 4-day workweek isn’t unheard of in America—according to the NY Times, 5% of US workers operate on a 4-day week schedule—the change has never been embraced nationwide.
Until more research is found, we’ll have to keep hustling like we do best, but at least the conversation is being had!
[Image from Shutterstock]