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Four-day work week lowers stress and improves wellbeing

01 Dec 2022 / employment Print

Four-day working week lowers stress

An experimental four-day working week in 12 businesses is to continue after being described as completely successful.

The project was backed by the trade union Fórsa, and carried out in partnership by Four-Day Week Ireland, UCD, and Boston College.

All of the 12 companies that took part in the six-month trial will continue – with just three uncommitted to keeping it long-term.

Impact on revenue

Six of the firms reported monthly revenue growth, with one seeing a decline and two saw reductions in energy usage.

The companies' average rating for the trial was 9.2 out of ten.

A full 100% of the workers said they would prefer a reduced working schedule, reporting improved life satisfaction and wellbeing.

Stress, burnout, fatigue, and work-family conflict significantly declined, and average sleep times increased.

Important lessons

"Our findings hold important lessons for the future of work in this country," UCD's Dr Orla Kelly said, presenting the report.

"The trial was particularly successful for women, who reported a significantly greater improvement in life satisfaction, larger gains in sleep time, and feeling more secure in their employment," she said on radio.

The biggest gain was that workers felt less time-stressed, using their free day to carry out chores, leaving weekends free for leisure.

General Secretary of Fórsa Kevin Callinan said that the research highlighted the need for a more balanced work-life schedule.

"The four-day week can be at the forefront of a new age of work, providing transformative social benefits without losing pay or productivity," Mr Callinan commented.

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