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40 Hours Or 4 Days?: Reframing The United Kingdom’s Working Week

During the winter, when the days get longer and the afternoons get darker, we work forty hours each week. We wake up when it is still unclear to start our commute. We arrive home in pitch black. We become emotionally and intellectually exhausted, sometimes evident through our work output.

CHC ,an online mental health facility, found that millennials find that “their jobs have an outsize role in their overall mental health. Because of longer working hours and stagnant wages, millennials suffer from higher rates of burnout[…]”. Furthermore, CHC found that over 50% of millennials had to leave their jobs due to exhaustion and a severe decline in their mental health.

It is for this reason that one hundred companies are trialling a four-day workweek in the United Kingdom. Also, this article will shed light on this controversial issue introduced by Four Day Week Campaign LTD.

This plan proposed by Four Day Week Campaign LTD comprises a four-day work week, where employees work thirty-two hours with no loss of pay for workers or loss of profit for businesses.

At the beginning of 2022, companies started a 12-month trial, undertaking this four-day work week, and the results are as Four Day Week Campaign LTD. Collecting and combining the reports from these companies, Day Week Global has drawn statistics and anticipated conclusions from this trial. Day Week Global has found that productivity has improved 'slightly' by 34% and 'significantly' by 15%. Furthermore, 86% of the participants are likely to opt for a four-day workweek once the trial ends.

Moreover, Sanford University has found that this four-day workweek will spur further productivity because people excel in their work when they are well-rested. In addition, this will allow time for employees to rejuvenate themselves, and achieve a higher quality of life. 

In conclusion, with The Guardian['s] report of one hundred companies undertaking the four-day working week, one can project this positive change in both the United Kingdom’s productivity output and employees' quality of life. With the introduction of the five-day workweek over fifty years ago, it is undoubtedly time to change. Seemingly, in the not-so-distant future, the United Kingdom will experience a shift in the dynamics of the working week.

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