Could four-day working weeks soon become a reality?

There is a growing movement around four-day working weeks, with a new trial underway in Scotland - but will employers be willing to take the leap?

It’s unsurprising that whenever we’re asked what we think of the idea of fewer working hours, we generally say ‘yes please, sign me up’.

Polling consistently shows strong support for what once seemed a radical policy, and it’s an issue that’s re-emerged this week, as an increasingly burned-out workforce reconsiders its priorities after the pandemic.

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New research for the think-tank IPPR Scotland found that 80% of people believed cutting their number of days at work would benefit their wellbeing.

Three-day weekends sound pretty good, after all.

But are employers ready to embrace the idea?

The Scottish Government is testing the waters, with the SNP now offering a £10 million fund for companies trialling a four-day week, after it included this in its manifesto back in April.

Similar trials in New Zealand and Iceland have proven successful, with no loss in productivity and reports that the rise in leisure time actually boosts the tourism sector.

Crucially, there’s no reduction in pay. The theory is that staff will benefit from the time off and be more motivated on the days they do work.

There’s still a long way to go for this to become the norm, and legitimate questions over how part-time staff and shift workers could also benefit.

But with the public behind the idea, and some companies reporting positive trials, it does seem like the movement is gathering steam.

I recently heard about a tech company which gives all staff the first Monday of every month off, as an opportunity to recharge their batteries.

We may start seeing a lot more initiatives like this, especially if it becomes a hot topic in the world of recruitment.

Do you think four-day working weeks are a good idea? Vote in our poll

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