A six-month trial has been launched in the UK to test the idea of a four-day working week.

British companies are expected to take part with employees working shorter weeks as part of the trial will receive the same pay despite working less hours.

They will however be asked to maintain 100% productivity over the four days in a pilot launched by 4 Day Week Global in partnership with think tank Autonomy.

UK companies involved in four-day working week trial

Six UK companies including Morrisons and Unilever, responsible for products such as Vaseline, will take part in the trial.

Brendan Burchell, professor in social sciences at Cambridge University to The Metro: “With the social and environmental benefits of the shorter working week becoming clearer, grassroots support more widespread, and technology available to maintain productivity, the time has come for more organisations to take the leap and unravel the practicalities.

“This scheme has tremendous potential to progress from conversations about the general advantages of a shorter working week to focussed discussions on how organisations can implement it in the best possible way.”

Four-day working week will be trialled around the world

The UK trial will be replicated in the US, Ireland, Canada Australia and New Zealand.

Joe O’Connor, pilot programme manager for 4 Day Week Global, said: “More and more businesses are moving to productivity focused strategies to enable them to reduce worker hours without reducing pay.

“We are excited by the growing momentum and interest in our pilot program and in the four-day week more broadly. 

“The four-day week challenges the current model of work and helps companies move away from simply measuring how long people are “at work”, to a sharper focus on the output being produced. 2022 will be the year that heralds in this bold new future of work.”