LONDON, UK (CBS NEWS) — A typical work week is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, but a large study in the UK is exploring a different way to bring home the bacon.
The UK launched the world’s largest four-day work week experiment to learn how to be more productive in a shorter time span while also saving time to rest, according to CEO of Hutch Games Ltd. Shaun Rutland.
Mobile game developer Hutch is one of 73 participating companies. Rutland said the idea makes business sense.
“Hiring talent is really hard,” he said. “You have to offer an attractive work environment.”
However, fewer days don’t mean less work.
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“You have to work extremely, extremely hard and extremely compressed,” Rutland said. “I think investors need to hear that.”
Workers get 100 percent pay for fewer days, but they have to maintain full productivity.
“It’s been a struggle at times to get on top of everything and stay on top of everything,” Studio Manager of Hutch Games Ltd. George Coles said.
Still, the extra day off is nice.
“It’s been wonderful,” Coles said. “I’ve managed to go do a lot of extracurricular activities.”
Nonprofit 4 Day Week Global is spearheading the six-month study that involves roughly 3,500 workers.
“If it’s done right, it’s something that delivers very significant benefits for both the employer and the employee,” CEO of 4 Day Week Global Joe O’Connor said. “It can be a win-win.”
O’Connor said this is not a one size fits all approach, but some version of the shorter work week can be achieved right across the economy.
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Rutland said he won’t hesitate to switch back if productivity slips but sees a four-day work week as the future.
“I don’t have much control about what the government does,” Rutland said, “but I do have control about what this business does and what this business can contribute to society.”
It’s reported that 60 companies in the US have also signed up for the four-day work week trial. Researchers from Boston College are monitoring the experiment and said employees are reporting less stress and burnout and better physical and mental health.