Can the four-day working week ever really scale?

Perhaps less really is more. The recent headlines generated by the results of the largest four-day working week trial were undoubtedly eye-catching. In early December, the programs for 33 organizations, mainly in the U.S. and Ireland and spanning numerous industries, officially concluded after six months. A vast majority – over 90% – plan to continue the four-day week.

The report from 4 Day Week Global, a nonprofit organization facilitating the trial – and another one in the U.K. that includes 70 businesses and finishes next February – noted: “For the companies, relevant metrics showed high levels of success.” On average, revenue had risen 38% compared to 12 months earlier, and hiring also rose. Meanwhile, absenteeism was lower, and resignations were down.

And yet, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the four-day week may have a scale issue. Almost all of the companies in the trial were small- to medium-sized organizations – only two of the 33 participants employed more than 101 workers. Whether or not the four-day week can work for larger organizations is as yet, untested.

So, what’s needed to take it to the next level?

The full version of this article was first published on DigiDay’s future-of-work platform, WorkLife, in December 2022 – to read the complete piece, please click HERE.

Published by

Oliver Pickup

Multi-award-winning writer, content editor, ghostwriter, and TV and radio commentator (and occasional illustrator), specialising in technology, blockchain, startups, business, sport and culture. Founder of Pickup Media Limited. Interviewer of death row prisoners, legendary athletes, influential leaders, tech trendsetters, and cultural pioneers. By-lined in every English newspaper. Contributor to dozens of multinational publications.

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