91% of global companies agree the future of work is 4 days a week

There is an unstoppable momentum behind the four day week movement, say Charlotte Lockhart and Andrew Barnes, the co-founders of 4 Day Week Global, a not-for-profit organisation which runs pilot programs, works with governments to form policy and conducts research.

4 day work weekThe pair have good reason for their enthusiasm: the results of the group’s largest four-day working week trial to date have just been published. Sixty-one companies and around 2,900 workers took place in a UK-based trial from June to December 2022.

The results are overwhelmingly positive: 92% of organisations are continuing with a four-day week, and 90% of employees said they definitely want to continue working four days a week, with no one saying they definitely don’t want to continue.

Other successes included a revenue rise of 1.4% on average over the trial, and when compared to a similar period from previous years, organisations reported revenue increases of 35%, on average.

The number of staff leaving fell by 57%, while 55% reported an increase in their ability at work, with15% saying that no amount of money would make them accept a five-day schedule at their next job.

Tangible benefits

Job satisfaction is a huge issue for workers post-pandemic. With disengagement rising, we’re seeing trends such as “quiet quitting”, “rage quitting” and “career cushioning” hit the headlines. All are a result of burnout, with 42% of women saying they were consistently burned out at work, and 35% of men reporting the same, according to McKinsey.

Burnout is pan-generational: Millennials (59%), Gen Z (58%), and Gen X (54%) share similar burnout rates, according to the Business Health Institute. The four-day week trial offers a panacea to workers’ ills: 71% of participating employees had reduced levels of burnout by the end of the trial, with 39% saying they were less stressed and 43% feeling an improvement in their mental health.

There is more good news: 54% said they felt a reduction in negative emotions, 37% of employees saw improvements in their physical health, 46% reported a reduction in fatigue, and 40% saw a reduction in sleep difficulties.

While findings are consistent across a variety of subgroups in the sample, such as with men and women, what is striking is how much more beneficial a four day week is for those with caring responsibilities.

For example, the time men spent looking after children increased by more than double that of women (27% to 13%), and 60% found an increased ability to combine paid work with care responsibilities. Work-life balance improved in other ways too. Seventy-three percent of workers said they had greater satisfaction with their time and 62% said it was easier to combine work with their social life.

No flash in the pan

These results are not outliers: in total, 91 companies and approximately 3,500 workers from countries including Ireland, the U.S, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK have participated in 4 Day Week Global’s pilot programs.

Ninety-one percent of organisations plan to continue their four day week, with only 4% saying they are definitely not going to continue. Similar outcomes were found in the earlier trials, for example, revenue rose by 35% over the trial period when compared to a similar period from previous years, hiring increased while absenteeism decreased, with resignations and sick days falling when compared to the same period from the previous year.


There are potential downsides to the four-day work week trial, such as increased pressure and workload on staff during the four work days. In 4 DayWeek Global’s pilot programs, more than half of organisations took Mondays or Fridays off, which has potential to lead to the possibility of decreased customer service, and the need for certain industries to maintain continuous operation.

Overall though, four day working weeks aim to increase employee well-being and productivity, but success depends on various factors, including the type of work being done, underlying company culture, and the willingness of employees to adapt to new schedules.

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Author Kirstie McDermott

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