Over 3,000 staff at 60 UK businesses trialed a 4 day work week for 6 months between June & December 2022

  • Large 4 day week pilot
  • Europe

4 Day Work Week in the UK

Historically, the UK has had a traditional, 5 day work week. However, in 2022, the UK began a large 4 day work week pilot program. The program includes 70 UK businesses, over 3,300 employees, and covers over 30 fields of work.

Pilot companies by industry

The trial ran from June 2022 until December of 2022 and is the largest 4 day work week pilot program to date. Similar pilots are taking place in Ireland, the United States, Israel, and several other countries over the same period.

The trial is being conducted by the 4 Day Week Global organization, in conjunction with several other companies and researchers from Oxford, Cambridge, and Boston University.

Here are the results from this pilot study:

Business Outcomes

  • 92% of companies continued with the 4-day week post-trial.
  • Average revenue increased by 1.4% across participant companies.
  • The trial was rated 8.3/10 by companies.
  • Business performance and productivity both scored an average of 7.5/10.
  • Staff attrition decreased by 57% over the trial period.

Employee Outcomes

  • 90% of employees expressed a definite desire to continue with the 4-day week.
  • 55% of employees reported an improvement in their work abilities.
  • 15% stated they wouldn't accept a five-day schedule in their next role, regardless of the salary.

Health and Well-being

  • 71% of employees experienced a reduction in burnout.
  • Stress levels fell for 39% of participants.
  • 43% of employees noted an improvement in mental health.
  • 54% reported a decrease in negative emotions.
  • Physical health improved for 37% of employees.
  • 46% experienced reduced fatigue.
  • Sleep problems decreased for 40% of participants.

Family and Household Life

  • 73% of employees reported higher satisfaction with their time.
  • 60% found it easier to balance paid work with caregiving responsibilities.
  • Work-life balance improved, with 62% finding it easier to combine work with social life.
  • Men's involvement in childcare increased by more than double that of women (27% vs. 13%).

Global Outlook

  • The overall experience of the trials was rated an 8.5 out of 10.
  • Business productivity and performance each scored a 7.5 out of 10.

Life and Job Satisfaction

  • Both men and women showed improved outcomes on a 4-day week, with women’s improvements generally being greater.

Climate and Lifestyle

  • Commuting time fell by 30 minutes per week across the sample.
  • The extra day off was primarily used for hobbies, leisure, housework, caregiving, and personal upkeep, not for additional paid work.

Working Hours in the UK

Based on data from the International Labor Organization, on average, workers in the UK work 36 hours per week. By law, workers cannot be required to work more than 48 hours in a given week by their employer. Employees can opt for more hours, but this must be signed in a contract between the employee and employer.

Working hours in the UK

In the UK, employers are not required by law to provide compensation for overtime hours, and many employers in the UK choose not to. Overall, a worker’s wage cannot fall below minimum wage when overtime hours are factored in.

Vacation Policy in the UK

In the UK, workers enjoy a generous amount of vacation time. For most employees, standard vacation time includes 5.6 paid weeks of leave per year. For employees who work full-time, 5 days per week, this amounts to 28 days of vacation time.

Part time employees in the UK also enjoy vacation time at the same rate. For example, a part time employee would multiply the number of days they work per week times 5.6 to calculate their total vacation time.

The UK has 8 national holidays. Employers are not required to pay employees for time off during national holidays, but some choose to do so.

Part Time Working in the UK

41% of the UK’s total workforce is part time workers, with a significantly higher proportion of female part time workers than male. While 56% of the total female workforce in the UK works part time, only 28% of the total male workforce is comprised of part time workers.

The United Kingdom has legislation protecting the rights of part time workers. Some of these laws include regulations surrounding pay rates, holiday leave, and opportunities for career advancement.

Remote Working in the UK

As of 2022, 30% of the UK’s workforce was working remotely. This is down 7% from the percentage of remote workers in 2021. The number of remote workers in the UK varies by industry, sex, and age, with a slightly larger percentage of females working remotely than males. Workers aged 25-34 are most likely to work remotely.