Many benefits of the four day week have been widely reported so the results of the world’s largest trial of the four-day week were eagerly awaited. They were published in February and pointed to a raft of benefits. These included less stress, reduced levels of burnout, improved mental and physical health, and better work-life balance.
92% of the companies that took part in the trial are continuing with the four-day week, so is this the way to go?
Michael Saunders has reviewed the study. Michael is Professor of Public Policy at Kings College University’s Policy Institute and puts forward four reasons to be sceptical.
He concludes with the following reflection
“To ensure successful investment in systems and changes within workplace contexts – and to support the future of employment for both individual wellbeing and the economy – we need rigorous and robust understanding of impact. This is particularly important as ideas move from small trials to larger-scale implementations. It is very possible to conduct robust workplace trials, however case studies remain the norm.
It’s critical that we improve the quality of evidence by asking if interventions work, how effective they are, for how long, and for whom, and whether they meet the cost-effectiveness threshold. This remains the case across public, private and civil society sectors.”