Could a Four-Day Workweek Impact Workers’ Health? A New Report Offers Insight
Employees who participated in the trial reported decreased stress, fatigue and levels of burnout and increased physical and mental health.
- By Alex Saurman
- Feb 22, 2023
A new report suggests that a four-day workweek may have some benefits for workers’ health.
From June to December 2022, 61 companies in the UK participated in a trial where employees’ work time was reduced by 20 percent but pay and work were kept the same.
Of the approximately 2,900 employees in the trial, nearly three in four (71 percent) saw decreased levels of burnout, according to the report from 4 Day Week Global. Employees also reported decreased stress (39 percent), negative emotions (54 percent), fatigue (46 percent) and sleep difficulties (40 percent) as well.
Moreover, physical health improved for more than one in three employees (37 percent), and mental health improved for more than two in five employees (43 percent).
It wasn’t just the employees who enjoyed this model of working; 91 percent of the participating companies said they “are definitely continuing or planning to continue a 4 day week,” per the results. Only four percent said they aren’t moving forward with the model.
In October, the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy published a framework on supporting the mental health and well-being of employees. It included “five essentials” for employers: Protection from Harm, Connection and Community, Work-Life Harmony, Mattering at Work and Opportunity for Growth.
Looking for ways to support your employees? Read our articles Mental Health in the Workforce: How to Support your Employees and Understanding the Stressors Behind Workplace Burnout, or listen to our podcast on How to Support Employee Mental Health & Wellness.
Alex Saurman is a former Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety,who has since joined OH&S’s client services team. She continues to work closely with OH&S’s editorial team and contributes to the magazine.