About sixty companies will participate in this test, which should pertain to about 3,000 employees.
“My first idea was to volunteer, then I thought I could do something else, learn a new skillLike particle physics, explains Louis Bloomsfield, who also plans to spend more time with his family. “There is so much you can do in an extra dayThe 36-year-old brewer gets excited, checking beer kegs.
The north London brewery where it operates, Pressure Drop, will take part in a giant test from June, with 3,000 employees across 60 companies, working four days a week. The experiment, billed as the world’s largest ever, aims to help companies shorten their working hours without cutting wages or slowing down their business.
Trials around the world
Similar trials have been conducted in Spain, Iceland, the United States and Canada, and should begin in August in Australia or New Zealand. Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, director of programs at 4 Day Week Global, which is organizing the trials, says the six-month UK test would be useful to give companies more time to experiment and collect data.
He told AFP that adaptation should be easier for small and medium businesses, which can implement big changes more quickly. Pressure Drop aims to improve employee well-being, while helping reduce the company’s carbon footprint.
The Royal Biological Society, which is also involved in the trial, says it wants to give employees “More independenceLike Pressure Drop, it hopes a shorter work week can attract new employees and especially help retain the best, in a particularly tight UK job market. Unemployment was 3.7%, the lowest in nearly 50 years, and job vacancies Which hit a record 1.3 million.
Sam Smith, founder of the brewery, admits that staying closed three days a week will present challenges, saying:We have to be open all the time, but that’s what we will study during the experimentHe plans to give different days off to employees and make two shifts to allow for continuous operation.
It is easiest to implement a shorter working week in the service sector, which accounts for 80% of the UK economy. But it’s more complicated for retail and food and beverage, says Jonathan Boyce, an economist at the Institute for Personal Development, a consortium that specializes in human resources.
Thus, the key to the success of the experiment will be the measurement of productivity, especially in a service economy where a large amount of labor is less quantifiable than the output of the factory. “If you go from five days to four, you lose a working day, and therefore you lose production. So the real question is: (…) Will the increase in productivity make up for this lost day? (…]If not, we would have a very hard time maintaining the four-day week without sacrificing growth“.
But for Aidan Harper, co-author of a book promoting a four-day work schedule (“Case for four days a week“), countries that work less tend to have higher productivity.”Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands do less than the UK and have higher levels of productivity,” he explains to AFP.
On the contrary, he adds, Greece is one of the countries in Europe with longer working hours for lower productivity. For Phil McParlane, founder of hiring company 4dayweek.io, a shorter work week is a win-win option for businesses and employees alike. He even talks about aHiring a great power“.
Its recruitment company, which specializes in flexible working and four-day-a-week jobs, says the number of companies wanting to hire through its platform has quadrupled in the past two years, reflecting the rise of hybrid work and the pursuit of a better quality of life thereafter. Two years of the pandemic.