After six months of four-day weeks with full pay, almost all employees in an international pilot project have welcomed the experience, with their employers hailing increased productivity.
An evaluation of the Four Day Week project, published on Wednesday, shows that 97% of the 500-odd respondents want to keep the shortened week system. The system is so popular that 70% of the participants even said they would need a big pay rise to go back to a 40-hour week.
More than 30 companies from various sectors (IT, gastronomy, consultancy, construction, etc.) and 900 employees took part in the pilot project, which was supervised by researchers from Boston, Cambridge and Dublin.
According to the survey, two-thirds of the companies intend to keep the four-day week with salary maintenance, while the others have not yet made a decision or are considering doing so. No company said that it would return permanently to the five-day week.
The four-day week did not result in a loss of productivity, according to the study, as companies redesigned their processes to be more efficient: over six months, companies’ sales increased by an average of 8%, and up to 38%, compared to the same period the previous year.
The researchers also found an improvement in the physical and mental health of workers.