The Impact of the 4-Day Workweek: UK 2023 Results

Explore the benefits and impacts of the 4-day work week through insightful infographics. Discover how shorter weeks could reshape modern workplaces.

Phil from 4 day week
12 min readOct 9, 2023

The Impact of the 4-Day Workweek: UK 2023 Results

The 4-day workweek has had a transformative effect on the UK’s working culture, benefiting both businesses and their employees:

  • Company Adoption: 92% of companies continued with the 4-day workweek, showcasing its widespread success.
  • Financial Boost: A substantial average revenue increase of 35% compared to the previous year, highlighting the productivity benefits.
  • Employee Retention: A 57% decrease in staff turnover emphasized improved job satisfaction and work-life balance.
  • Health and Well-being: 37% of employees reported better physical health, whereas 43% showed improved mental health.
  • Burnout and Stress Reduction: The 4-day workweek effectively reduced burnout by 71% and stress levels by 39%.
  • Decreased Absenteeism: Improved work-life balance led to a drop in absenteeism, ensuring a more engaged workforce.
  • Streamlined Hiring: Offering the 4-day workweek as a perk simplified hiring, making companies more competitive.
The Impact of the 4-Day Workweek: UK 2023 Results

The Transformative Impact of the 4-Day Workweek

There was a noticeable shift before and after adopting the 4-day workweek. Feedback from employees following the adoption of the 4-day workweek indicates:

  • Improved work-life balance.
  • More manageable workloads.
  • Enhanced ability to meet deadlines.
  • Greater appreciation for work-life balance support by the company.
The Transformative Impact of the 4-Day Workweek

4-Day Week 32hrs Pilot in Numbers

The 4-day workweek, with a reduced schedule of 32 hours, has been a transformative pilot for companies, showcasing remarkable results in adoption and retention.

  • 33% of companies trialed it.
  • 0% of companies returned to the 5-day workweek.

These numbers highlight the strong adoption and enduring success of the 4-day workweek, making it a promising model for the future of work.

4-Day Week 32hrs Pilot in Numbers

4-Day Week Pilot Result

The 4-day workweek pilot program yielded impressive outcomes:

  • Staff health improved by 15%
  • Job applications surged by 41%
  • Employees reported 13% more good days at work
  • Only 2% of employees want to return to 5-day workweeks

While the business KPIs remained unchanged, the benefits were clear:

  • Reduced operational costs
  • Improved employee retention
  • Childcare dramatic improvement
4-Day Week Pilot Result

Improved Hiring Efficiency with 4-Day Workweeks

Since January 2022, an analysis of job postings mentioning 4-day workweeks and their time-to-fill statistics reveals:

  • Job postings with 4-day workweeks filled in just 24.4 days.
  • All other job postings averaged a 37.4-day fill time.

This shows that companies incorporating 4-day workweeks into job postings experience a 35% faster job-filling process, highlighting the appeal and efficiency of this approach in talent acquisition.

 Improved Hiring Efficiency with 4-Day Workweeks

Countries That Have Embraced 4-Day Work Week

A 4-day workweek has been gaining momentum globally to improve work-life balance and increase productivity.

Here are some countries that have taken notable steps toward adopting this progressive work schedule:

  1. Belgium
  2. Wales
  3. Spain
  4. Iceland
  5. Portugal
  6. Scotland
  7. Sweden
  8. Germany
  9. Japan
  10. New Zealand
 Countries That Have Embraced 4-Day Work Week

The 4-Day Workweek — Reducing the UK’s Carbon Footprint

The UK is contemplating transitioning to a 4-day workweek by 2025 to combat climate change and reduce its carbon footprint.

  • Current Emission Stats: The prevailing work schedule is linked with annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 800,000 to 600,000 metric tons.
  • Emission Reduction Goal: The move to a shorter workweek is targeted at significantly trimming these emissions. Projections hint at a decrease to 600,000 to 400,000 metric tons annually by 2025.
The 4-Day Workweek - Reducing the UK's Carbon Footprint

Employees Views on the 4-Day Work Week

A 4-day work week has sparked considerable debate, but what do the workers think?

Recent survey data offers clear insights:

  • 81% of workers like the idea and fully support the transition to a 4-day work week.
  • 17.8% like the idea but don’t think that a 4-day work week will work
  • A mere 1.2% oppose the idea altogether.

The overwhelming support suggests that the 4-day work week resonates deeply with most workers, possibly paving the way for more widespread adoption of this work schedule.

Employees Views on the 4-Day Work Week

Do Americans Work More Than Other Countries?

The US stands out when comparing average hours worked per week, including vacation and holiday times.

Americans work an average of 33.9 hours per week. Here’s a snapshot of the weekly work hours in various countries:

  • US — 33.9 hours
  • Canada — 31.6 hours
  • Japan — 30.7 hours
  • Italy — 29.9 hours
  • France — 26.9 hours
  • UK — 26.2 hours
  • Germany — 25.6 hours
 Americans Work More Than Other Countries

Perks of 4-Day Workweek: How Employees Benefit?

The buzz about the 4-day workweek has been growing, and the advantages are clear for many employees. Here’s what they believe are the top benefits:

  • Better Work-Life Balance: 70% of employees feel a shortened workweek leads to a more balanced life.
  • Enhanced Well-being: 52% think it positively impacts their well-being.
  • A Real Break from Work: 44% cherish having more time to disconnect from work-related stresses.
  • Economic Benefits: 35% enjoy the money they save from fewer days of commuting.
  • Reduced Absenteeism: 29% believe fewer absences, as employees can manage personal needs or appointments on their extra day off.
Perks of 4-Day Workweek: How Employees Benefit

Employee Productivity and the 4-Day Workweek: A Snapshot

There’s a rising sentiment among workers that a shorter workweek might be the key to unlocking greater productivity.

When asked about the potential impact of a 4-day workweek on their output:

  • Strongly Agree: 44% of employees believe their productivity would improve.
  • Agree: Another 29% lean towards agreeing, suggesting they see potential benefits.
  • Neutral: 17% remain undecided, neither agreeing nor disagreeing with the statement.
  • Disagree & Strongly Disagree: Surprisingly, 17% either disagree or strongly disagree, indicating they don’t see a 4-day workweek as beneficial for their productivity.

The numbers reveal a significant tilt towards favoring a reduced workweek, suggesting many believe efficiency doesn’t necessarily stem from more extended hours.

Employee Productivity and the 4-Day Workweek

4-Day Workweek — A Positive Impact on Job Performance

A recent trial exploring the benefits of a 4-day workweek has brought forth some illuminating results. Remarkably, job performance levels were maintained even with one less workday.

  • Reduced Stress Levels: Staff stress levels dropped notably, decreasing from 45% before the trial to a more manageable 38% afterward.
  • Enhanced Work-Life Balance: In 2017, only 54% reported satisfactory work-life balance. Post-trial, this number skyrocketed to 78%, underlining the positive impact of a shorter workweek on overall quality of life.

These findings reinforce that a 4-day workweek can lead to better performance, lower stress, and improved work-life harmony.

4-Day Workweek - A Positive Impact on Job Performance

4-Day Workweek Tria — Boosting Team Engagement

The impact of a 4-day workweek trial on team engagement is undeniable:

  • Leadership: In a 2017 survey, leadership engagement stood at 64%. Post-trial, it surged to an impressive 82%.
  • Commitment: Commitment levels also saw a significant uptick, rising from 68% in 2017 to 88% after the trial.
  • Stimulation: Employees reported feeling more stimulated at work, increasing from 66% in 2017 to 84% post-trial.
  • Empowerment: Empowerment levels followed suit, from 68% in 2017 to 86% post-trial.

These results highlight how a 4-day workweek can improve work-life balance and invigorate team engagement and commitment.

4-Day Workweek Tria - Boosting Team Engagement

A 4-Day Work Week Pays Off: Boosting Productivity

The impact of a 4-day workweek on productivity at British companies is impressive:

  • Less: A mere 5% experienced decreased productivity.
  • Same: A solid 46% reported productivity levels remained unchanged.
  • Improved Slightly: A notable 34% saw slight productivity improvements.
  • Improved Significantly: A promising 15% witnessed significant leaps in productivity.

These numbers highlight that the 4-day workweek isn’t just about time off; it’s a strategy that can enhance overall productivity for many companies.

A 4-Day Work Week Pays Off: Boosting Productivity

4-Day Workweek: By the Numbers

The statistics surrounding the 4-day workweek are revealing. Let’s break it down:

  • Happier Employees: 62% reported increased job satisfaction.
  • Reduced Costs: 51% saw lower operational expenses.
  • Fewer Sick Days: Sick days decreased by 62%.
  • Increased Productivity: A remarkable 64% boost in overall productivity.
  • Attract Diverse Talent: A solid 63% reported greater appeal in attracting a diverse talent pool.

These numbers clearly show the benefits a 4-day workweek can bring to both employees and organizations.

4-Day Workweek: By the Numbers

Work & Mental Health: The Power of a 4-Day Workweek

Could a 4-day workweek be the key to better mental health and worker productivity? Worldwide results suggest the following:

  • Improved Work-Life Balance: 78% of workers have experienced an enhanced work-life balance.
  • Increased Engagement: 88% report feeling more engaged at work
  • Less Burnout: 83% believe a 4-day workweek would reduce burnout, offering a healthier work environment.

These findings underscore the potential for a 4-day workweek to boost worker productivity and nurture mental well-being.

Work & Mental Health: The Power of a 4-Day Workweek

Countries That Have Embraced a 4-Day Workweek

The concept of a 4-day workweek is gaining momentum across the globe. Here are some countries that have already embraced or are exploring this innovative approach to work:

  1. Australia
  2. Austria
  3. Canada
  4. Denmark
  5. France
  6. Ireland
  7. Netherlands
  8. Norway
  9. South Africa
  10. Switzerland
  11. United States of America
  12. United Arab Emirates
Countries That Have Embraced a 4-Day Workweek

6 Alternatives To a ‘Fully Fledged” 4 Day Workweek

While the traditional 4-day workweek gains traction, some businesses are getting creative with alternative work arrangements to suit diverse needs:

  1. 4.5-Day Week: A slight variation, offering employees a half-day off each week while retaining a shorter work schedule.
  2. Summer 4-Day Week: Implementing a 4-day workweek specifically during the summer months, allowing for more extended weekends.
  3. 4-Day Week Every 2nd Week: Alternating between a 4-day workweek and a standard 5-day week, giving employees flexibility while ensuring continuous coverage.
  4. 5-Day Week With 40+ Days Vacation: A 5-day workweek coupled with generous vacation days (40+) provides extended rejuvenation breaks.
  5. 4-day week @ 80% Salary, 100% Benefits: Working a 4-day week at 80% salary but still receiving full benefits, offering both time and financial stability.
  6. 4-Day Week Holiday Exceptions: Maintaining a 4-day workweek, except for public holiday weeks, and pairing it with a more modest vacation policy.
6 Alternatives To a 'Fully Fledged" 4 Day Workweek

How Long Does it Take to Do Your Job to the Fullest Extent?

When it comes to doing their job to the fullest extent, workers have diverse opinions on the ideal work hours:

  • Less Than 30 Hours: A small but contented 8% find they can excel in less than 30 hours.
  • 30 to 40 Hours: The majority, at 43%, believe a 30 to 40-hour workweek is the sweet spot for peak performance.
  • 40 to 60 Hours: A substantial 38% feel they need between 40 to 60 hours to excel in their roles.
  • 50 to 60 Hours: A select 7% push their limits to 50 to 60 hours.
  • 60+ Hours: A dedicated 4% are willing to go above and beyond, working over 60 hours.
How Long Does it Take to Do Your Job to the Fullest Extent?

4-Day Work Week: A Closer Look at Employee Preferences

In a recent survey, the idea of transitioning to a 4-day work week garnered significant attention from employees:

  • Logistical Viability: 85% of respondents believe a 4-day work week is logistically possible for them, while only 15% had reservations.
  • Beneficial Proposition: 94% view the 4-day work week as an employee benefit they would cherish, contrasting with a mere 6% who wouldn’t appreciate the change.
  • Compensation Considerations: Interestingly, 28% of full-time employees are willing to accept a pay cut for an extra day off. Among them, the average pay cut they’d be willing to bear is 11%.
 4-Day Work Week: A Closer Look at Employee Preferences

The Rise of the 4-Day Work Week

  • Current Adoption (2023): 33% of organizations have transitioned to a 4-day work week, fitting the standard 40-hour week into just four days.
  • Projected Uptake (2025): By 2025, it’s estimated that 80% of organizations will adopt this flexible work structure.

This shift promises improved work-life balance and increased employee productivity, signaling a significant change in our approach to work shortly.

The Rise of the 4-Day Work Week

The Benefits of a 4-Day Work Week for Employees

Switching to a 4-day workweek offers several compelling benefits:

  1. Decreased Burnout: 71% of 3K employees reported a reduction in burnout. The figures speak for themselves:
  • 22% felt an increase in burnout
  • 7% noticed no change
  • 71% experienced a decrease.

More rest naturally leads to a decreased risk of burnout.

  1. Better Sleep: Employees, on average, slept 16% more compared to a 5-day work regime.
  2. Boosted Morale: Employees are generally happier when their work schedules become more flexible and accommodating.
  3. Enhanced Morale: A shorter week often leads to happier employees.
  4. Equal Opportunities: A 4-day full-time framework levels the field, making part-time work less of a career disadvantage.
  5. Increased Physical Activity: Physical exercise rose by about 21% with an extra day off.
  6. Improved Work-Life Balance: The shift naturally aids a balanced lifestyle.

However, it’s worth noting that a condensed week isn’t for everyone — 8% still prefer the traditional 5-day structure for a relaxed work pace.

Benefits of a 4-Day Work Week for the Company

  1. Increased Productivity with Steady Revenue: Due to ‘Parkinson’s Law,’ employees work more efficiently, ensuring steady revenue.
  2. Cost Savings:
  • Utility costs drop 10–20%.
  • Space-saving with hot-desking.
  • High-quality talent at reduced recruitment costs.
  • Enhanced employee retention curbs turnover costs.
  • Fewer absenteeism reduces expenditure.
  • 20% savings on on-site perks like meals and gym.
  1. Talent Attraction:
  • A surge in job applications, exemplified by Atom Bank’s 500% rise.
  • Higher-caliber applicants.
  1. Employee Retention: Satisfaction boosts retention, with figures rising from 80% to 98% in some cases.
  2. Gender Equality & Inclusivity:
  • Helps reduce the gender pay gap.
  • Equalizes caregiving, with men investing more in childcare.
  • Single parents could see up to 20% drop in childcare expenses.
  1. Reduced Absenteeism: Health benefits led to a 67% reduction in absenteeism during a UK trial.
  2. Diversity & Flexibility:
  • Attracts a broader pool of candidates.
  • Accommodates employees with disabilities.
  • Aids ongoing education and ensures representation in diverse roles.
  1. Enhanced Creativity: Well-rested employees boost innovation and creativity.
  2. Productivity Boost: Greater time off propels productivity.
  3. Upskilling Opportunities: The extra day promotes further education, hobbies, and certifications.
  4. Scope of Applicability: While promising, a 4-day week might not fit all sectors or industries.
Benefits of a 4-Day Work Week for the Company

Benefits of a 4-Day Work Week for the World

Embracing a 4-day work week doesn’t just benefit employees — it can have a far-reaching positive impact on our world.

  1. Better for the Environment: Reduced commuting and lower office energy consumption means fewer emissions, making it a green choice.
  2. Decreased Traffic Congestion: With one less workday, we can anticipate a 20% decrease in workplace-related traffic, easing congestion.
  3. Reduced Healthcare Pressure: A healthier society due to better work-life balance lessens the strain on public health services.
  4. More Time to Volunteer: An extra day off gives individuals more opportunities to give back, making it a win for society.
  5. Supports Aging Population: The additional day gives families more time to care for and support older adults in our communities.
  6. Increased Parental Involvement: An extra day allows parents to be more involved in their children’s lives, fostering better family ties.
  7. Boost to Local Economy: Increased leisure time can translate into higher local spending, supporting small businesses and boosting the local economy.
Benefits of a 4-Day Work Week for the World

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