Plans to step-up the campaign for a four-day working week across the UK have been welcomed by a Newport based digital marketing agency that successfully trialled and adopted the scheme last year.
The 4 Day Week Campaign is encouraging businesses to take a look at the benefits of a shorter working week as a way of helping to ‘prevent burnout for millions’ of people who are ‘being pushed to the brink’ as a result of Britain’s long hours culture.
The scheme has already worked well with those companies involved highlighting less stress and better staff retention among the benefits. The hope now is for it to be extended into the public sector.
Digital marketing agency Ascendancy, based in Newport, took part in the six-month global project to trial the four-day working week last year and director Helen Culshaw said its success saw the company make it a permanent working arrangement – with Ascendancy now an officially accredited Gold Standard 4 Day Week business.
“The trial, initiated by 4 Day Week Global, saw hundreds of companies internationally experimenting with the idea. It has proved to be a major success with reports of increased productivity and reduced levels of fatigue, stress, insomnia and burnout,” she said.
“It has also worked for Ascendancy, productivity has improved, the team is happy with the four-day working week and it has had a positive impact both in terms of the office environment and the work/life balance for all. I am delighted to hear of plans to step-up the 4 Day Week Campaign and would urge businesses to take a close look at it and see how it could work for them.
“There were concerns for us going into the trial, the main one being could we get all the work done? But this hasn’t been a problem and we are doing just as much work now, if not more, as we were before.
“We put a huge amount of thought and planning into how this was going to work because we still needed to provide a five-day-a-week service while maintaining our high standards. We managed the challenges well and the key thing to running this kind of system is to be super-organised.
“Each permanent, full-time member of staff is included in the scheme once they have passed their probation period and get either a Monday or Friday as their ‘rest day’. The remaining four days are slightly longer than before, but overall we have reduced the working week from 37.5 hours to 32 hours, with no reduction in pay.”
Joe Ryle, director of the 4 Day Week Campaign, said recent official figures showing almost two million workers reported suffering from work-related ill health in 2022/23 demonstrated the urgency of the move to a four-day working week.
He said: “Our very British culture of long working hours and low pay is pushing people to the brink. We work some of the longest hours in Europe which is causing burnout for millions and not producing good results for the economy.
“We are long overdue for a reduction in working hours – the time has come for a four-day working week, with no loss in pay.”
Source: Shropshire Live