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Global Economy

Four-day week as an experiment

Andy Bass is Artistic Director at Hutch, a company that designs and distributes computer games. For the past three months, he and his team have only been working four days a week – with the same pay. Friday is free. And it works quite well:

Output accomplished in each month

But after three months, Bass draws a positive interim conclusion: they would have made the output in every month. The trained graphic designer feels comfortable with the new four-day week. Andy now has more family time, more time to spend with the kids, walking the dog, biking. On a three-day weekend, he can really switch off. For him and his team, this is a real new start before going back to the office on Monday.

Anna also works at Hutch, she and her team analyze the data the company gets from the players to make the programs more fun, better. She is enthusiastic about the four-day week. Meetings have been canceled or massively shortened, and the entire corporate culture has been turned inside out.

Sometimes she noticed: "Okay, I need two hours for that, but I only have one hour." And then it just worked out in an hour. More concentrated work, less procrastination, a new mood in the company ensure that you can work more productively.

Hutch CEO Shaun Rutland says it feels like working at a startup, even though the company has been around for ten years. There is a will to get things done, he explains. Rutland can well imagine the company sticking with the four-day week, even though the trial ends at the end of November.

70 companies involved in the experiment

70 companies in England are taking part, with a total of 3,300 employees. A research team is to evaluate whether productivity is increasing, how work is changing, how the workforce is doing. The Universities of Cambridge and Oxford are involved. Companies from a wide range of industries are taking part in the experiment, including a fish-and-chips shop, care facilities and shops.

Mariam Salman from the 4DayWeek initiative is happy that so many different companies are taking part in the trial. It's about showing that a lot of companies are switching to a four-day week and that many employees could benefit.

The results of this world's largest test should prove this. Results will be available at the end of November, beginning of December.

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