Recruitment for a new four-day working week pilot programme has begun on International Worker’s Day today.
Four Day Week Ireland, Fórsa and 4 Day Week Global have encouraged companies of all sizes to join the six-month trial.
This is the second trial of the four-day working week in Ireland.
The four-day working week is based on the 100-80-100, where workers get 100% of their pay, for 80% of the time, in exchange for a commitment to delivering 100% of the output.
Participating employers and employees will undertake a training programme to re-evaluate how they work, ensuring maximum efficiency before beginning the six-month trial.
Their experiences will be tracked by researchers in University College Dublin, Boston College and Cambridge University.
General Secretary of the trade union Fórsa Kevin Callinan previously told Newstalk the trials seek “to show how this can actually make a real difference that benefits employers and staff but also, in doing so, is better for the economy is better for society and is better for the environment”.
Last year, 12 Irish companies entered Ireland’s first trial of the four-day work week, with none of them returning to the full five-day working week.
100% of employees reported that they would like to continue a reduced work schedule.
75% of companies involved opted to continue the four-day work week, while the remaining 25 per cent continued the reduced work schedule but had not made any long-term commitments.
It was reported that stress, fatigue and work-family conflicts significantly declined after the first trial. Average sleep time also increased from 7.02 hours a night to 7.72 hours.
Time spent on hobbies outside of work, including exercise, increased by 36 minutes per week.
Employers rated the trial at a 92% success rate. Nine of the 12 companies officially committed to the four-day working week, while the remaining three continued to implement a shorter working week but did not make a concrete commitment.
A non-profit, a manufacturing company, a recruiting agency, an engineering firm and an IT service provider were among the companies that took part.
Results from the UK pilot with over 60 companies found 71% of participants feeling less burnt out and 39% less stressed while on a four-day week.