Utah residents react to United Kingdom’s 4-day work week pilot program

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This November will mark the last month of the “4 Day Week Global” pilot program in the United Kingdom.

The six month trial began in June for many organizations in the U.K., which implemented a reduction from a standard 40-hour work week to a 32-hour week while maintaining the same pay and benefits. 

The intentions behind this movement were to reduce working hours in order to improve productivity and mental health among workers as well as provide more sustainable work conditions. More than 70 U.K. organizations signed up for the trial and around 3,300 employees are receiving a paid day off every week during the experiment.  

According to their website, many U.S. adults are in approval of a 4-day work week. The modified schedule would reduce working hours in order to improve productivity and mental health among workers as well as provide more sustainable work conditions. (Cate Ferraro)

According to 4 Day Week Global, 85% of U.S. adults approve to change to a four-day work week. Elle Solomon, a full-time pharmacy technician in Lindon, agrees that the change to a four-day week would be very beneficial to her. 

“I feel like with the five-day work week, there’s a lot more challenges than there are benefits. You’re left with two days in a week where you have to decide between running errands and accomplishing things that you need to do, but also wanting to relax and give your body a break,” Solomon said.

Grant Frazier, a BYU entrepreneurship major, believes a paid day off could prevent burnout for employees and increase productivity for companies. 

“You come into work and you’re able to work more and do better because it’s not your whole life. As a result, you’re very grateful for the job and you want to perform well in that environment.” Frazier said.

Employees work in an office. 4 Day Work Week Global found that 78% of employees with four-day weeks are happier and less stressed. (Unsplash)

The organization found that 78% of employees with four-day weeks are happier and less stressed.

One of the biggest hurdles the movement faces is overcoming the cultural norms of a five-day work week. The website states that the work week is “overdue for an update.”

“I know I would be happier if I was able to have three days to myself … and get to explore and find self-fulfillment,” Frazier said.

Results from the halfway point in the trial show that many respondents felt the transitions from a five- to four-day work week was initially challenging, but doable. Companies in the U.K. pilot trial range from small businesses to large corporations and range over many fields. 

Colby Dozier, a manager at the FedEx Vineyard station, also supports the benefits of a four-day work week. For Dozier, the only trouble would be creating a schedule that includes a paid day off with the amount of employees he manages.

“I think with delivery jobs like FedEx and Amazon it’s a bit different, but maybe if we were only scheduling four days a week we could possibly hire more people because more people would be willing to work if they weren’t so tired,” Dozier said.

According to the trial’s findings, “63% of businesses found it easier to attract and retain talent with a 4 day week.”

Following their success in the United Kingdom, 4 Day Week Global also expanded their pilot programs to reach North America, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia this year.

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