Workplace Trends

Four Day Work Week Pilot 2022: UK Results and Learnings

Four Day Work Week Pilot 2022: UK Workplace Results and Learnings, with Kyle Lewis, Autonomy Research Limited

The world’s largest national four day work week pilot took place in the United Kingdom for six months during 2022, with over 60 companies taking part.

We’re delighted that Kyle Lewis of Autonomy, the pilot’s research coordinator, will present the results and key learnings in this session at our Workplace Trends Research Summit, with a focus on its implications for the workplace. This presentation will provide valuable insight on the impact a four-day week can have in making teams and workspaces positive places to be. The four-day week is a rising trend across many sectors, and understanding its strengths, practical requirements and risks is vital for all workplace professionals.

An overview of the trials:

Between June and December 2022, around 3000 workers based throughout the UK and representing more than thirty sectors, received 100 per cent of their pay for 80 per cent of the time, in exchange for a commitment to maintain at least 100 per cent productivity.

The pilot has been coordinated by 4 Day Week Global, in partnership with us – leading think tank Autonomy – the UK’s 4 Day Week Campaign, and researchers at Cambridge University, Oxford University and Boston College.

This experiment has gained national and international media coverage, drawing interest from the Economist, the Financial Times, the Guardian, the Times, the BBC and many others. It led to a bill on the four-day week being tabled in parliament, and enquiries for our workplace consultancy services have risen dramatically.

The pilot has collected qualitative and quantitative data on the impact of a four-day week on the participating organisations. This has covered (though not been limited to):

• Employee wellbeing and stress
• Employee work satisfaction and experience
• Recruitment and retention
• Productivity and output
• Family and personal life
• Energy use

The UK programme has run alongside similar pilots in Ireland, the United States and Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and Israel, and is accompanied by many firms commencing trials or implementing a shorter working week independently. What stands out in particular about the UK programme concerns its size and scope.

This presentation will provide an exclusive in depth exploration of the data collected over the course of the programme and provide expert analysis on what the research indicates about the future of working time and its reduction within the UK and beyond.

One of the key learnings the presentation will focus on concerns the growing interest in the four-day week shown from non desk-based sectors. Switching to a four-day week is evidently a growing trend, particularly among desk-based work settings. However, the UK pilot programme demonstrated that the take up of the idea is starting to be implemented within sectors typically thought of as being ‘non-compatible’ with four-day week practices (manufacturing, logistics and hospitality). The presentation will focus on these particular case studies from the pilot in order to provide new learnings on what the data reveals about the non-typical four-day week work environments.

Find out the outcomes and recommendations from this project at the Workplace Trends Research Summit on 19 April 2023 in London and online.

Kyle Lewis, Director and Head of Consultancy, Autonomy Research Limited

Kyle co-founded Autonomy and leads on our shorter working week consultancy and research. With Will Stronge, he is the co-author of Overtime (Verso, 2021) and managed the research branch of the UK’s four-day week pilot in 2022.

Kyle has project managed the majority of our consultancy projects, leading client interaction, drafting reports and guiding our interview, workshop and survey processes. He is currently completing a PhD in Political Theory and Sociology at the University of West London.

Early bird rates for the Workplace Trends Research Summit on 19 April 2023 are currently available for a limited time only. For full information on the event click here, or to go direct to our booking page click here.