Could a four-day working week be good for business?

  • Joanne Baker-Gabb
  • Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

The TUC has recommended a four-day working week – but can this really work for business?

A UK company has recently moved to a four-day working week (with full-time pay but with a 20% drop in holiday entitlement) following a successful trial. The benefits, particularly to health and well-being, were felt to be of enough value to make the move permanent.  Benefits recorded from this and other trials are:

  • maintenance of job performance
  • lower stress levels (from 45% to 38%)
  • significant improvement of work/life balance
  • much higher team engagement.

However, hidden dangers have been noted, including increased health risks and stress when a compressed working week results in long hours on the four days which are work days.

Four-day weeks might not work for all businesses, but compressed hours is not new, and employees have a right to request flexible working arrangements after 26 weeks of employment. With a focus on improving mental health, this might be one potential way forward.

We can advise upon flexible working requests and create a flexible working policy for your organisation. Contact one of our solicitors in Swindon, Reading, Oxford or Bristol if you’d like advice in this area.