The UK showed the first results of the four-day work week trial

FILE – A woman types on a computer during a train ride in New Jersey on May 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

Work less, but get more benefits.

A test of a four-day work week in Britain, described as the largest in the world, found that an overwhelming majority of 61 companies who participated last June through December will continue with the shorter hours and that most employees were less stressed and had a better work-life balance.

All this, while company revenues remained roughly the same during last year’s test period and even increased compared to the same six months of the previous year, according to results published this week.

We’re really encouraged by the results, which show the many ways companies are turning the four-day week from a dream to a realistic policy., with multiple benefits,” said David Frayne, a research associate at the University of Cambridge who helped lead the team that conducted the employee interviews for the trial. “We think there are a lot of things here that should motivate other companies and industries to give it a try.”

The university team worked with researchers from Boston College; Autonomy, a research organization focused on the future of work, and the nonprofit community 4 Day Week Globalto see how companies in industries ranging from marketing to finance to nonprofit organizations and their 2,900 workers would respond to reduced work hours while maintaining the same pay.

FILE PHOTO: Workers at London Bridge train and tube station during the morning rush hour in London, Britain, September 8, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville
FILE PHOTO: Workers at London Bridge train and tube station during the morning rush hour in London, Britain, September 8, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville (TOBY MELVILLE/)

The researchers worked with each participating organization to measure the impact on the productivity of the company and the well-being of its workersas well as the impact on the environment and gender equality.

Unsurprisingly, employees reported benefits, with 71% less burnout, 39% less stress, and 48% more job satisfaction than before the trial.

Of the workers, 60% stated that it was easier to reconcile work and responsibilities at home, while 73% stated that they were more satisfied with their lives. Tiredness had decreased, people were getting more sleep and mental health had improved, according to the results.

Juliet Schor, a professor of sociology at Boston College and a principal investigator of the change, described it as a “historical essay.” “We will look at how employees respond to having an extra day off, in terms of stress and burnout, job and personal satisfaction, health, sleep, energy use, travel, and many other aspects of life,” said to Guardian.

“The four-day week is generally seen as a triple dividend policy: helping employees, businesses and climate change. Our investigative efforts will delve into all of this,” she added.

With information from AP

Keep reading:

More than 3,000 employees have started the trial of the four-day work week in the UK

Work four days and rest three: how and where the new working week is rehearsed