A recent study has uncovered that employers that have implemented a four-day workweek collectively saved more than £100bn
A recent poll of 500 c-suite business leaders, has found that almost two thirds (65%) of UK businesses have implemented a four-day working week for at least some of their employees, and these firms have saved money whilst doing so.
The poll, conducted by Henley Business School, has estimated that businesses have been able to save a combined total of around £104 billion, which is the equivalent of 2.2% of the UK’s annual turnover. This has been achieved through improvements to productivity and wellbeing in staff, in addition to the lower costs offering a four-day workweek brings whilst continuing to pay staff their full salary.
The results of the poll show an increase when compared to the same poll Henley business school conducted in 2019, in which the business school estimated businesses had saved a total of £92bn through four-day working weeks.
Of the employers previously offering a reduced week, 66% stated that they had been able to reduce their costs, whilst 64% believed the quality of work being produced was maintained or improved. Employers had also stated their workforce were less stressed (78%), happier (75%) and that they were spending more time developing their skills and growing (64%).
A further benefit employers have found, is their ability to attract and retain older employers (69%), whilst over two thirds (67%) stated they believed their business found it easier to attract younger workers.
Labour market economist at the CIPD, Jonathan Boys, stated that the CIPD believes it is “encouraging” to see employers looking to experiment with the different approaches to work. Boys also suggested that a shorter working week could be a favourable variation of flexible work in some sectors.
“We’d encourage organisations to explore a range of flexible working options from hours and days worked to working locations, so everyone can benefit from more flexibility and choice,” he said.
The research also included 2,000 employees in the poll and found that when asked what they would do with the free time, if given the chance to work a four-day week, the majority of employees stated they would like to spend more time with their family (67%) and friends (66%), with some employees (32%) stating they would use the time to take on extra work.
Associate professor of finance at Henley business school, Dr Miriam Marra, believes the pandemic has made employees more aware of the value of the hours that they work. “It seems clearer, now more than ever, that time means money when it is owned,” she said. “Some employees may feel now enabled to undertake multiple jobs; others that they should earn more for what they can effectively produce”.
A large number of employees (69%) stated they would prefer a four-day workweek where they could choose the day off, or where the day off was a Monday or a Friday (61%). In addition to this, half of all employees involved in the poll stated they would work a day at the weekend If it meant being able to work a four-day working week while still receiving a full-time salary.
54% of respondents in the poll said they would prefer an option of being able to switch between full-time and part-time working at different times of the year, such as being part-time during the summer holidays.
Of the businesses not currently offering a reduced working week, 70% believe it would be too complicated to manage, whilst 75% stated they had concerns around being available to customers.
This research has shown that there is a changing of culture around the way a workforce operates, with the majority of organisations moving away from a traditional working week and instead choosing to experiment with their way of work, with seemingly successful results.
If you are looking to change the way of work in your organisation, oneHR can help you. Our useful employee directory will give you the perfect overview of each employee you and your managers need to effectively manage a change of this kind. Keep on top of working patterns and ensure your managers can see the availability of your staff at any time with oneHR.
If you are looking to implement a four-day working week into your business, or just looking to see how oneHR can help create a smooth HR process, please get in contact with our team today.