Thousands of UK workers join 17 Irish companies in trial of four-day working week 11 months ago

Thousands of UK workers join 17 Irish companies in trial of four-day working week

Organisations in Ireland have been trialling the schedule since February.

If we've learnt anything from the bank holiday, it's that it's pretty nice to have a three-day weekend.


Dreams of a long lie-in on a Friday could be about to move closer to reality, however, as more companies begin a pilot scheme to try a four-day working week.

Several Irish companies, 17 in total, have already begun trialling the updated schedule, earning the same amount of pay for as they would for a typical five-day week, so long as their productivity remains 100%.

Major pilot schemes are happening across the pond as well, with 70 companies in the UK joining the pilot this week, accounting for over 3,000 employees.

The companies taking part cover a wide variety of sectors, including banking, housing, online retail, animation studios, hospitality, digital marketing, and even a local chip shop.


Researchers at Cambridge University, Oxford University, and Boston College will all work with participating organisations to measure the impact on productivity for the business and the wellbeing of their workers, as well as the environmental impact and gender equality.

Government supported four-day week trials are also set to take place in Spain and Scotland later this year.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, more and more companies are recognising that the new frontier for competition is quality of life, and that reduced-hour, output-focused working is the vehicle to give them a competitive edge," said Joe O'Connor, CEO of Four Day Week Global.

“The impact of the 'great resignation' is now proving that workers from a diverse range of industries can produce better outcomes while working shorter and smarter.”


More than half of Irish professionals are of the mind that a four-day working week will soon be a reality.

Conducted in March amongst 1,500 employers and professionals, with 888 responses received in total, a survey found that 54% of people believe that a four-day working week will come into play inside the next five years.