Thousands of UK workers are starting a four-day work week from Monday with no pay cut in the largest trial of its kind.
The pilot, involving 3,300 workers from 70 companies will last for six months.
The employees under this trial come from diverse backgrounds ranging from financial service providers to restaurant workers.
During the program, workers will receive 100% of their pay for working only 80% of their usual week, in exchange for promising to maintain 100% of their productivity.
The program is being run by not-for-profit 4 Day Week Global, Autonomy, a think tank, and the 4 Day Week UK Campaign in partnership with researchers from Cambridge University, Oxford University and Boston College.
Researchers will measure the impact the new working pattern will have on productivity levels, gender equality, the environment as well as worker well-being.
Until now, Iceland had conducted the biggest pilot of a shorter working week between 2015 and 2019, with 2,500 public sector workers involved in two large trials. Those trials found no corresponding drop in productivity among participants, and a dramatic increase in employee well-being.
Calls to shorten the working week have gathered steam in recent years in several countries. As millions of employees switched to remote work during the pandemic — cutting onerous commuting time and costs — calls for greater flexibility have only grown louder.
Government-backed trials are set to take place in Spain and Scotland later this year, the 4 Day Week Campaign said in a press release.