Creative businesses are championing the concept of the universal 4 day week. That means all staff working for 4 days but being paid for 5. This move is aimed at improving the work life balance, happiness and wellbeing, increasing work output and generally countering Britain's image as overworked, but underproductive. The idea is likely to be a popular one (albeit that it may lead to shorter breaks and less holiday) and could well act as a strong recruitment, engagement and retention tool. It remains to be seen how far this will catch on, but for the time being it is likely to be a strong differentiator for employers. Please excuse me now while I enjoy my day off.
It is one of a handful of UK businesses that now operate like this: staff still get paid their previous five-day salary, but they work a day less. The company began with a six-week trial and found that they achieved just as much – and there were even signs of growth. The key to the scheme’s success, Leigh says, is how happy his employees now are. “There are two ways to make money in my line of work,” he says, “retain clients and get new ones. Miserable, tired staff can’t do either.”