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The daybreak of the four-day week – podcast | Cash

March 6, 2023
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Organisers of the world’s largest trial of the four-day working week have proclaimed it a success and have launched a drive to persuade more companies to try the idea. Of the 61 companies in the UK that entered the six-month trial, 56 have extended the four-day-week policy, including 18 that have already made it permanent.

For Simon Ursall, the managing director at the landscape consultancy Tyler Grange, the trial has been transformative. He tells Michael Safi that his business is now happier, more productive – and more profitable.

As Joe Ryle of the 4 Day Week Campaign explains, the trial aims to shift the norms of work culture from 40-hour, five-day weeks to 32-hour weeks. The five-day week was itself an improvement on the six-day week that was common before the trade union movement emerged in the 19th century.

For the Guardian’s Heather Stewart, it’s an idea that is clearly catching on in some sectors. But without formal political support or trade union leaders making it a primary focus, it could still be some time before we see the standard five-day week reduced to four.

Photograph: Jeffrey Blackler/Alamy

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