The Guardian (guardian_news) wrote,
The Guardian

‘Miserable staff don't make money’: the firms that have switched to a four-day week

British people work some of the longest hours in Europe, but are among the least productive. Now some companies are shortening the working week to increase efficiency, health and happiness

I meet Rich Leigh for a coffee in Gloucester on a Friday, his day off. In fact, his entire company has the day off, because Radioactive PR, the firm led by Leigh, 30, has adopted a four-day week.

It is one of a handful of UK businesses that now operate like this: staff still get paid their previous five-day salary, but they work a day less. The company began with a six-week trial and found that they achieved just as much – and there were even signs of growth. The key to the scheme’s success, Leigh says, is how happy his employees now are. “There are two ways to make money in my line of work,” he says, “retain clients and get new ones. Miserable, tired staff can’t do either.”

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