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Health & Fit: Companies Across the UK Are Going to Try Switching to a 4-Day Work Week

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It's Monday, which means you're more than likely already yearning for it to be the weekend again. If that's the case, we're sorry that's still a way off, but perhaps you can take heart from the fact that today, a trial of the four-day working week is being launched. The downside: The program is currently only running in the UK.

Companies across the UK are signing up to the scheme, which will see employees earn 100% of their pay for 80% of their time © PeopleImages - Getty Images Companies across the UK are signing up to the scheme, which will see employees earn 100% of their pay for 80% of their time

During the UK's six-month pilot program, which is set to begin in June, staff at participating companies will work 80 percent of their normal week for 100 percent of their normal pay.

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The trial is being organized by 4 Day Week Global, who are working in partnership with the think tank Autonomy, the UK's 4 Day Week campaign, as well as researchers at Cambridge and Oxford Universities and Boston College.

The group want to see what effect adopting the 100:80:100 model – the idea that you get 100 percent of your pay for 80 percent of your time, as long as productivity remains at 100 percent – has on employee output and welfare.

Joe O’Connor, a pilot program 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.

“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."

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Companies that will be trialing the four-day working week include the British arm of the camera company Canon, who are one of six UK-based companies to have joined the pilot so far.

Speaking to The Guardian, Ken Sutherland, president of Canon Medical Research Europe, said: “We recognize that working patterns and the focus we all give to our work-life balance has changed substantially during the pandemic.

"As a responsive employer we are always looking at how we can adapt our working practices to ensure that employees find their time with us is meaningful, fulfilling and productive. For this reason, we’re keen to pilot a four-day week to see if it can work for us.”

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