techUK will explore the opportunities, challenges, and implications of a shorter working week in the future world of work, as part of the Exploring the Future of Work Series.

In 2022, 70 UK companies took part in a 4 day week trial in which workers earned 100% of their salary for 80% of their usual hours. Many of these companies are now opting to maintain this working arrangement permanently, citing improved employee satisfaction and wellbeing and improved productivity, with the relative success of the UK trial bringing this idea to the forefront of discussions around the future of work.

The pandemic accelerated the adoption of productivity-enhancing technology by businesses and drove trends towards more flexible working models, with an emphasis on improving work-life balance and workforce inclusion. However there remains some scepticism around the feasibility of a shorter working week across some sectors of the economy.

This webinar will explore whether a 4 day week really is the future of work, the barriers to its widespread adoption, and the role technology can play in delivering on the promise of productivity gains from a shorter working week. It will also assess whether a 4 day week could help the UK deliver on other policy priorities around diversity and inclusion, investment in skills and research, and meeting sustainability targets.

The panel will consider:

  • What are the drivers behind the UK trial and the emergent debate around the 4 day week and how do these and wider opinions on a shorter work week vary across sectors?
  • What are the core barriers to the adoption of a 4 day week across the economy?
  • What are the benefits of a 4-day week for employee wellbeing and how does this compare to similar benefits from things like flexible working arrangements?
  • What is the potential of a 4 day week to tackle low productivity and what role can technology play in driving productivity in the context of a shorter work week?
  • What impact could the adoption of a 4 day week have on the development of and investment in skills?
  • Would the adoption of a 4 day week support sustainability and help the UK meet its net zero targets?
  • Can adopting a shorter work week drive diversity and inclusion and create more equal workplaces?