Four-Day Workweek Trial Results Are In

The trial, which involved around 2,900 workers, provides a boost for advocates of a shorter workweek.

February 22, 2023

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The AP reports that a trial of a four-day workweek in Britain, billed as the world’s largest, has found that an overwhelming majority of the 61 companies that participated from June to December will keep going with the shorter hours and that most employees were less stressed and had better work-life balance.” The companies involved largely reported steady or increasing revenue.

“We feel really encouraged by the results, which showed the many ways companies were turning the four-day week from a dream into a realistic policy, with multiple benefits. We think there is a lot here that ought to motivate other companies and industries to give it a try,” said David Frayne, research associate at University of Cambridge, who helped lead the team conducting employee interviews for the trial.

The university’s team worked with researchers from Boston College; Autonomy, a research organization focused on the future of work; and the 4 Day Week Global nonprofit community to see how the companies, from industries spanning marketing to finance to nonprofits, and their 2,900 workers would respond to reduced work hours while pay stayed the same.

The trial found that there was a drop in the likelihood of employees quitting, down 57% compared with the same period a year earlier, as well as those calling out sick, down 65% from a year ago.

According to the results, “Some of the most extensive benefits of shorter working hours were found in employees’ well-being. Before and after data shows that 39% of employees were less stressed, and 71% had reduced levels of burnout at the end of the trial. Likewise, levels of anxiety, fatigue and sleep issues decreased, while mental and physical health both improved.”

Of the companies, 92% reported they would continue with the four-day workweek, with 30% saying it’s a permanent change.

The upcoming March issue of NACS Magazine includes a feature on how scheduling flexibility may help c-store retailers get the most out of their workforce.

NACS Magazine points out that QSRs “pull from the same labor pool as convenience retailers, especially those that have prepared food programs.” It then explores a novel workforce management approach at “one Miami, Florida, Chick-fil-A location, owned and operated by Justin Lindsey, [which] offers its full-time workers an even shorter workweek—just three days. Workers also have seven consecutive days off a month and only have to work two Saturdays a month. (Chick-fil-A locations close on Sundays.) The three-day workweek works by separating employees into two ‘pods,’ according to Lindsey. One pod works Monday through Wednesday, and the second works Thursday through Saturday. They stay on the same schedule for two consecutive weeks. On the third week they rotate.”

2022 NACS Show day three keynote speaker Jake Wood spoke with NACS Magazine about leadership in November. To be a great leader, you must love the people you lead, he says. Demonstrating that love requires three critical things:

  • Understanding who they are
  • Understanding where they came from
  • Understanding where they want to go—and helping them get there

With the U.S. economy adding 517,000 new jobs in January and unemployment at a five-decade low, c-store operators continue to grapple with a tight labor market.