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The biggest four-day work experiment to date was a huge success, paying off not only for the workers, but also for the companies that participated. In fact, 92% of employers decided after the end of the experiment, which was carried out by 4DWG and Autonomy, to keep reduced working hours.

The benefits for business

The survey involved 61 – mostly small – companies in Britain with around 2,900 employees and was carried out between June and December 2022. The 23 businesses that submitted sufficient data showed a 1.4% increase in revenue over the period under review, while a much larger increase of 35% was recorded in the comparison of the specific semester compared to previous semesters. Also, the vast majority of businesses said they maintained the same level of productivity, which averaged 7.5/10.

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Although during the experiment the tendency of the “Great Resignation” still prevailed, the rate of resignations in these companies dropped significantly. The number of resignations per 100 employees decreased by 57%, while employees said at the end of the survey that they were 30% less likely to change jobs than at the beginning. Also, the number of vacation days and days off requested by employees decreased by 65%. As a result, of course, the rate of new hires also decreased by 37%.

Employees don’t come back in five days

Significant changes were seen in mood, stress levels and job satisfaction for employees, with 96% of them saying they preferred four-day work. In fact, 46% of participants said they would return to the five-day with a salary increase of up to 25%, 29% with an increase of 26%-50%, and 8% only with an increase of more than 50%. Notably, 15% of respondents said they would not return with any kind of raise.

This is a result of the great improvement brought by the four-day work in the professional environment, since according to the survey 39% noticed a reduction in stress, 71% a reduction in work fatigue (burnout) and 48% an increase in job satisfaction.

Among other things, about a fifth also saw a reduction in childcare costs. In fact, it found that men spent 27% more time with their children, compared to 13% of women, an indication that four-day work could lead to a narrowing of the gender gap.

Overall, at the end of the survey there had been a jump in life satisfaction, with the relative index rising to 7.56/10 from 6.69 previously.

A Greek model

The findings of the British experiment are also confirmed by recent research by Adecco, focusing in particular on improving the balance between personal and professional life. Of course, despite the new labor legislation in Greece that provides for the possibility of four-day work after consultation with the employer, very few companies have dared to do so. These are in particular businesses from the advertising industry, some startups and multinationals operating in Greece.

As Constantinos Mylonas, Cluster Head of the Adecco group in Greece, Romania and Bulgaria, states to MR, the possibility of adopting the four-day work varies depending on the organization and the type of work. He sees that the transition would be easier in companies familiar with technological tools or in organizations where the corporate culture links increasing productivity with enhancing employee well-being.


However, the potential problems that can arise are many. As Mr. Mylonas notes, firstly, the cost of transitioning to four-day work, although it varies from industry to industry, is on average high. Second, one cannot guarantee that such a measure will favor employee productivity, as it may instead alter the work culture. Third, businesses considering adopting four-day work should reassess their priorities, such as avoiding procrastination.

In any case, Mr. Mylonas states that, overall, policies that focus on the mental health and well-being of employees certainly favor them, but also businesses, which by improving the corporate culture in general, will gain the ability to both attract and retain talent. Lessons from the four-day work experiment – ​​The “recipe” for the Greek model

Source: moneyreview.gr