Interesting result as Australia’s four-day workweek trial continues

In recent months, employees at some Australian companies have been working four days a week without their pay being cut.

Twenty companies in Australia and New Zealand began trialling the four-day work week in early August.

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4 Day Week Global chief executive and founder Charlotte Lockhart said stakeholders in the ongoing process in Australia have reported promising results so far.

“We get really good feedback from them,” she told

“What’s interesting about the conversations we’re having at the corporate and government levels is that the companies that have plugged in have ultimately made the choice to permanently reduce their workweeks.”

In recent months, employees at some Australian companies have been working four days a week without their pay being cut. file image. Recognition: AAP

Lockhart announced a second wave of pilot programs would be launched in February, including another in the Australasia region.

“These studies are an ongoing piece of research that we’re constantly adding to,” she said.

“From the government’s point of view, we are looking for long-term changes and changes in the law.

“The solutions we’re looking for also revolve around how we can help companies that feel they will be challenged to reduce working hours – that’s an important part of the conversation we’re having .”

Lockhart said the data collected from the four-day workweek trials would provide insight into how organizations can help get to a point where they feel comfortable administering a four-day workweek and enacting legislation without repercussions on company.

A report on trials of the four-day work week in workplaces around the world has shown the concept has benefits. Recognition: Getty Images

The trial results showed that four-day workweeks had a positive impact on productivity in microeconomics, she explained.

“When we add all this global data in February and the UK process is complete, economists can move further into the discussion of what the macroeconomic benefit is,” Lockhart said.

Data from Australia’s findings is expected to be released sometime in March.

Trials around the world

In the meantime, the four-day week has also been tested in a number of other countries and the verdict on the success of these tests has now been passed.

After six months, most of the 33 companies and 903 workers testing the plan without a pay cut will likely never return to a normal workweek, organizers of the global pilot program say.

None of the 27 participating companies that responded to a 4 Day Week Global survey said they are leaning toward their previous five-day routine or planning to return.

About 97 percent of the 495 employees who responded said they wanted to keep the four-day workweek.

The majority of companies participating in the study were based in the United States and Ireland. Survey participants rated their overall experience a 9 out of 10 based on productivity and performance.

Workers were equally positive about the study, reporting reduced levels of stress, fatigue, insomnia and burnout, and improvements in physical and mental health.

The process has also been good for company profits.

According to the survey, average sales increased by 38 percent compared to the same period last year.

4 Day Week Global, a non-profit organization, collaborated with researchers from Boston College, University College Dublin and Cambridge University for the study. It was split into two cohorts, beginning in February and April of this year.

Juliet Schor, a professor of sociology at Boston College and the study’s lead researcher, said the staff did not report an increase in the intensity of their work.

“This indicates that the work reorganization strategy was successful and the achievement was not met [speeding up]which is neither sustainable nor desirable,” she said.

“Win win”

Jon Leland, chief strategy officer of Kickstarter, a crowdfunding site participating in the study, described the schedule as a “true win-win.”

“The 4-day week has changed our business and our employees. People are more focused, engaged and committed, helping us achieve our goals better than before,” he said.

A separate six-month trial in the UK, also conducted by 4 Day Week Global, involving 70 companies and 3,300 workers, concluded this month. The results of this study – the largest in the world to date – are expected in February.

– With CNN

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