Peter Cheese, chief executive at the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development said:
“It’s fantastic to see companies exploring different patterns and ways of working as we navigate a changing world of work. This pilot has shown the potential organisations have to rewrite the rules on working norms across different roles and sectors, and create better balance of working lives for their people whilst maintaining business output and outcomes.
“At this stage there is no ‘one size fits all’ and the reality is we’re some way away from 4-day weeks becoming widespread. Our recent CIPD research found just one in three companies expect it to be the reality for most UK workers in the next ten years.
“However, this pilot has shown the willingness to innovate and that the four-day week could be a valuable option to improve work-life balance and retain and attract people. The challenge will be in ensuring fairness, making sure people aren’t overworked on the days they are working, and ensuring productivity can be matched or bettered by working fewer hours. This will mean organisations understanding the people management practices and investments in technology that together will enable employees to work smarter rather than harder.
“The 4-day week could well become our collective norm but there are still many things to be worked through, and throughout this debate there must be a clear focus on creating jobs and work that are good for people. This is the time to ensure that flexible working in all its forms is being explored, and that wellbeing and inclusion are key considerations alongside productivity and outputs.”
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