by Richard Robinson Chief Operating Officer
I’m fascinated by the news that more than 3,000 workers at 60 companies across Britain will trial a four-day working week, the most extensive pilot of its kind globally being run by academics at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and Boston College in the US.
The programme seeks to learn from the home-based and hybrid-working practices necessitated by the pandemic. For employees, it offers a shorter working week with no loss of pay while aiming for higher productivity.
Candidly, in principle, I’m a fan both as an employee and a business leader. Certainly, in the 6/7 day-a-week automotive retailing sector, there may be concerns. Still, I think we have to evolve how we work and if, crucially, that creates productivity gains, then everyone can be a winner.
The pandemic accelerated more than digitisation; the shift in social behaviour we should recognise is marked. People want a better work/life balance. Add to this the challenge of retaining our best talent. Talent retention is not just about money; quality of life has moved up the priority list.
In today’s world of diversity and inclusion, increased social, mental and environmental awareness and against calls for greater flexibility, is a four-day week an exciting concept? I will watch with interest, but please share your views.