Intelligent SME.tech Issue 22 - Page 23

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// EDITOR ’ S QUESTION ?

JOE O ’ CONNOR , CEO , 4 DAY WEEK GLOBAL

A t the beginning of June 2022 , 70 UK companies and over 3,300 workers began working a four-day week with no loss of pay in the biggest ever four-day week pilot to take place anywhere in the world so far . From a local chippy to large corporations , the range of participants is diverse and aptly demonstrates how our flexible model can be implemented in a variety of sectors right across the economy . The trial is due to run for six months and was organised by ourselves in 4 Day Week Global , alongside Autonomy , the 4 Day Week UK Campaign and researchers at Cambridge University , Oxford University and Boston College .

The four-day week that we advocate for is not a rigid , ‘ one-size-fits-all ’ approach and is based on the general principle of the 100:80:100 model – 100 % of the pay , for 80 % of the time , in exchange for a commitment to maintain at least 100 % of the productivity . Some companies will choose the traditional 32-hour / four-day week , some may adjust rosters and shifts to achieve the same level of coverage and service throughout the workweek , and for some businesses , it might mean five shorter days .
This model is proven to deliver improved company productivity , efficiency and performance as well as greater employee wellbeing , engagement and work-life balance . Research from leading international academics suggest the four-day working week can truly be a triple-dividend policy : better for the economy , better for society and better for the environment .
The disruption to societal and workplace norms by the COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated the potential for very different
models of work , for both workers and employers and reinforced the need to rethink old , established patterns . We believe that the future of work requires a shift away from a focus on time , as this is not an effective way to measure people ’ s contributions at work . Instead , we need to focus on measuring and rewarding collective outputs .
Almost all companies that move to a four-day week do three big things : radically shorten and reform meetings ; use technology more thoughtfully and mindfully ; and redesign the workday to build in distinct periods for focused work , meetings and social time . Studies show that the average worker loses two to three hours each day to useless meetings , poor technology implementations and just plain old distractions . So , the fourday week is actually already here ; we just can ’ t see it because it ’ s buried underneath these outdated and inefficient practices .
It requires strong management , clever rostering and worker buy-in , but we do believe that some version of a shorter working week , based on the principle of 100:80:100 , is achievable right across the economy , benefitting employers , workers , society and the environment . �

WE NEED TO FOCUS ON MEASURING AND REWARDING COLLECTIVE OUTPUTS .
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