The UK tests four days a week

The UK tests four days a week

reggae in the speakers. A few employees load the barrels amid huge stainless steel tanks. In this warehouse in Tottenham, north London, beer is brewed. 30,000 liters per month.

Be more focused and better organized

Claire Doherty is one of 9 employees at

Pressure drop. She is in charge of sales and for just over 2 weeks she has been experimenting with a 4 day week.

“I try to approach each day with a more solid organization. If I start by saying ‘Oh I’ll do that tomorrow’, my colleague might be away and we’ll be left behind. I hope to work harder. In a more considerate way. From the moment the work is done, over the course of a week, what is the problem?

More focused and organized, she can then work a day less, without losing efficiency, she is convinced of this. Good for her, good for the company. So far, his extra vacation has mainly served him shopping, going to see his bank, and making a medical appointment.

Nine full-time employees experience the four-day workweek
Nine full-time employees experience the four-day workweek

© Radio France
– Richard Bliss

“It all seems so boring. I’d like to tell you I’m writing a novel or something. But it just means that when I’m back at work, my mind is clearer because this free time allows me to take care of all that, too.”

“It must work for the benefit of the shareholders as well as for the employees”

Sam Smith founded this company ten years ago. This chief in Bermuda makes it clear that he has no intention of world conquest. He introduced this experience to his employees with the enthusiasm of being a pioneer. But within a clear framework, he will not hire anyone and the balance sheet will be drawn up in six months.

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“Yes, anything is possible. We made it clear to the employees: It’s just a test. It will be a success if there is no negative impact, it has to work as much for the shareholders as it does for the employees.”

Pressure Drop co-founder Sam Smith wants the operation to be a success for employees and shareholders alike
Pressure Drop co-founder Sam Smith wants the operation to be a success for employees and shareholders alike

© Radio France
– Richard Bliss

In this 7-day-a-week society, one less day of work for everyone requires a lot of organization, especially during the holiday period and thus reducing the number of employees. But Sam Smith believes it. He’s applying it elsewhere and now doesn’t enjoy going to the pool on Friday. But when he’s in the office, his level of focus is higher.

“The main change is the level of anticipation for the coming days. Previously, we were in a 5-day routine where we knew everyone was there. Now everyone is more focused, and we don’t put off what we have to do until tomorrow. We all anticipate and plan our week all the time.”

A New Zealand idea that was piloted in the UK by an organization called 4dayweek

This London brewery experience, like the entire British venture, is being piloted by an organization called

4 days a week. A New Zealand idea developed by business and academic leaders to spread around the world. Awareness is clearer since the pandemic. Some employees are discovering remote working and the possibility of giving themselves more free time.

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The 4dayweek Foundation raises awareness and provides organizational assistance. Interested bosses are offered training, as well as support in the early stages. Charlotte Lockhart is one of its leaders.

“As business leaders, when we focus on productivity without giving people tangible benefits to improve it, we are not creating an enabling environment. More free time also helps the rest of society. Local associations and sports clubs struggle to find people involved because no one seems to have the time.”

Academics from Cambridge, Oxford and Boston follow the British experience in detail. They will assess the consequences on the productivity and quality of life of 3,300 people participating in this test.

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