'Not viable' claim under two-thirds to implement a four-day week

Despite, companies claiming revenue increased after trialing a four-day week and the Labour party stating they wish to implement the 32-hour week, just under two-thirds feel it is not viable to do.

According to our HRreview live poll, 65 per cent feel a four-day week is not viable for their businesses.  As well as a fifth saying, it is possible but it could only be implemented after five years.

This follows on from John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor announcing on the 23rd September that Labour is planning to cut down the time of the average week to 32 hours at their party conference.

At the conference, Mr McDonnell said:

We should work to live, not live to work. Thanks to past Labour governments but mainly thanks to the trade union movement, the average full-time working week fell from nearly 65 hours in the 1860s to 43 hours in the 1970s.

As society got richer, we could spend fewer hours at work. But in recent decades progress has stalled. People in our country today work the longest average full-time hours in Europe apart from Greece and Austria. And since the 1980s the link between increasing productivity matched by expanding free time has been broken. It’s time to put that right.

In June 2019, Gloucestershire-based PR agency, Radioactive PR celebrated a successful year after implementing a four-day working week, without cutting staff pay. The agency increased its earnings by 70 per cent during the year and also maintained its net margin.

Feedback from both staff and clients have been positive after introducing a four-day week. When staff were asked ‘do you think you’ve enjoyed a better work-life balance since it was implemented?’ with a scale of 0-10, 0 (not at all) to 10 (definitely) three quarters of the team selected 10 – definitely. In answer to the question ‘do you think there has been a drop in communication with clients since the four-day week began?’ 100 per cent of the team answered 0 – not at all.

The poll showed 5 per cent believe a four-day week will be doable in the next year, 6 per cent said it will be doable in 1-3 years, and 5 per cent in 3-5 years.

The poll had 123 HR professionals vote in it.





Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.