An ongoing trial of a four-day working week by affiliate marketing network, Awin, has been heralded as a major success after the firm posted substantially reduced absenteeism and a surge in applications from prospective employees.
The firm trialed the new working hours in January to see if a reduced working week improved happiness and reduced sickness, and according to HR data, staff absence for the first quarter of 2021 fell by a massive 59% compared to the same period in 2020 and by 29% compared to the first quarter in 2019.
As well as a fall in absence, results from its staff survey have revealed there has been a 12.8% rise in employee engagement.
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Meanwhile, staff also determined themselves to be 9% more productive during February 2021 when compared to the same month in 2020.
Commenting on the data, Ian Charlesworth, regional managing director, Awin Global, said: “We are delighted but not that surprised to report the positive results of our four-day work week trial.
“With staff wellbeing our number one priority, it’s great to see from our bi-weekly surveys that this has improved across the board, with the reduction in the number of sick days and increase in engagement scores suggesting a happy and motivated workforce in general.”
Among those reporting the highest engagement scores were parents working for the business. Stephen Buxton, head of key account management (UK) – who welcomed his first baby last year – said: “It’s been great for getting a better life balance, especially as a new parent.”
As well as staff reporting feeling happier, the trial was also hugely popular with prospective employees, with Awin reporting that candidate applications were up 12% during the same Q1 period.
Employee churn rates have also decreased, with 2021’s figures the lowest yet.
Charlesworth added: “It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers, but what brings to life our experience of the four-day work weeks is hearing the real life stories from people like Stephen who is now able to invest this additional time into their families, hobbies, and personal development.”
According to Charlesworth the trial will be reviewed after six months’ of working this way has ended.