4 day work week uk

A closer look at the 4 day work week UK edition

Unless you have been living under a digital rock you will have heard a load about the 4 day work week UK and globally! Especially popular amongst agencies, this hotly debated topic has been trialed by more and more companies in recent years. So, let’s take a closer look!

The concept of a 4 day workweek has been gaining alot of momentum in recent years, with companies, agencies and governments around the world experimenting with this idea. One test was recently carried out in the UK, with several digital agencies participating in a four-day workweek trial.

What is the 4 day work week?

The four-day work week uk and globally is a work arrangement where employees work for four days a week instead of the traditional five. This arrangement is designed to provide employees with a better work-life balance, reduce stress and burnout, and increase productivity. The idea is that by working fewer hours, employees can be more focused and productive during their work hours, which can lead to better outcomes for both the employee and the employer.

The four-day work week trial in the UK

In the UK, several digital agencies participated in a 4 day work week trial, which ran for eight weeks from November 2021 to January 2022. The trial was organised by the digital agency Buffer, which has been a vocal advocate and champion for the 4 day work week uk wide.

During the trial, employees at the participating digital agencies worked for four days a week, with their hours reduced to 32 hours per week. The employees were still paid for their full-time positions, and their workload was adjusted to accommodate the reduced hours. The goal of the trial was to assess the impact of the four-day workweek on productivity, employee wellbeing, and overall job satisfaction.

4 day work week uk

What were the results of the 4 day work week trial?

The results of the trial were overwhelmingly positive. According to a report released by Buffer, employees reported feeling less stressed and more productive during their 4 day work week. They also reported feeling more engaged and satisfied with their jobs, which led to a decrease in staff turnover. Additionally, the trial had a positive impact on the environment, with a reduction in carbon emissions due to fewer commutes.

They said the trial also had a positive impact on the bottom line for the participating digital agencies. According to the report, productivity remained the same or improved during the trial, and the agencies were able to maintain their level of service to clients. This suggests that the four-day work week may be a viable option for companies looking to improve employee wellbeing and productivity without sacrificing business outcomes.

So what next?

The 4 day work week UK wide has significant implications for the future of work. The positive results of the trial suggest that the four-day work week could become a more widely adopted practice in the future.

BUT, it is important to note that the 4 day work week will not be suitable for all industries or job types. For example, jobs that require a high level of customer service or require employees to be present during specific hours may not be suitable.

What are the pros and cons of the 4 day work week UK and globally?


  1. Improved work-life balance: One of the main arguments in favour of a 4 day work week is that it can provide employees with more time to spend with their families and engage in leisure activities. This can lead to improved mental health and reduced stress.
  2. Increased productivity: Advocates of the 4 day work week argue that by reducing time to four days, employees can be more productive during their work hours. They may be more focused and have fewer distractions, leading to better outcomes for both the employee and the employer.
  3. Reduced costs: With a 4 day work week, employees may spend less time commuting and using resources like electricity, heating, and cooling in the workplace. This can lead to reduced costs for both employees and employers.
  4. Improved employee retention: By offering this new way of working, employers may be able to attract and retain employees who are looking for a better work-life balance.


  1. Reduced income: A 4 day work week may result in a reduction in income for employees who are paid on an hourly basis or who receive a fixed salary. This can be a significant concern for workers who are already struggling to make ends meet. Again – this really depends on how this is rolled out across sectors.
  2. Increased workload: To maintain productivity, employers will need to increase the workload of employees during their 4 days of work. This can lead to increased stress and burnout, which can negatively impact employee well-being. Possibly counter productive long term?
  3. Reduced availability: In many industries, a 4 day workweek will not be appropriate due to the need for round-the-clock service or availability during specific hours.
  4. Reduced collaboration: With a reduced working week, employees may have less time to collaborate with colleagues and work on team projects. This can limit the ability of companies to innovate and adapt to changing market conditions.

What are your views on the 4 day working week? Is this something you are considering as an agency or perhaps you have already adopted it? We would love to hear from you! Email [email protected]

Beth Hellowell
Founder of Women in Agencies and co-founder of Signify Digital. Mother, social media scroller and frequent pasta eater.