A six-month pilot program announced recently in the UK is recruiting companies to study the impact of shorter working hours on businesses’ productivity and the well-being of their workers, as well as the impact on the environment and gender equality. The companies will follow the 100:80:100 model, where workers receive 100 percent of the pay for 80 percent of the time – in return for committing to maintain 100 percent of their previous productivity. “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,” said Joe O’Connor, manager of the pilot scheme for 4 Day Week Global. The UK follows Iceland, Spain and Scotland which have run similar trials. Iceland’s trial found that productivity at work stayed the same or even improved when working hours were cut. Participants in Iceland’s two-year trial also reported “a powerful positive effect on work-life balance,” which included having more time to spend with their children or pursuing hobbies.

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