Northampton company takes part in ‘historic’ four-day week trial as ‘rigid system doesn’t make sense’

The trial will see employees work fewer hours, which has been seen in other countries to help productivity

By Abby Titmuss
Wednesday, 8th June 2022, 10:38 am

A Northampton-based company is one of 70 companies taking part in a UK wide trial of working four days a week for five days pay.

Amplitude Media, based in The Albion Brewery Centre, is a creative marketing agency working across film, photography, animation and design.

The trial has already had promising results in other countries and is being run by ‘4 Day Week UK Campaign’ alongside researchers at Cambridge and Oxford University.

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Some of the team behind Amplitude.

Juliet Schor lead researcher on the 4 Day Week Global project said: “Sticking to a rigid, centuries old time-based system doesn’t make sense. The UK trial is historic.”

The change in office hours will not mean that employees are working longer days but aims for the hope that condensed hours mean they work more efficiently.

Jo Burns- Russell managing director of Amplitude said: “This isn’t about making those hours up in other ways, it's a straight up reduction of working hours from 40 to 32 with the same level of remuneration.”

It is hoped that employees taking part in the scheme will be able to focus on different things on the extra day off like new hobbies, resting or life admin whilst also saving money on childcare or fuel.

Amplitude already accommodates the needs of the team through hybrid working and believes that the reduction in office hours will help to “reduce their environmental footprint and further improve the work/life balance of employees”.

Despite a reduction in hours the model has found employees to be more productive and less stressed. A Henley Business School study in 2021 also discovered that the adaptation could be cost effective too. If all businesses were to shift to four day weeks then a combined £104 billion per year could be saved.

The trial will run until December and the success of this will be measured through employee surveys, staff one to ones and sessions with the leaders of the study.

Ms Burns- Russell is "honoured” to be taking part in the study and thinks it is well suited for the company.

She added: “The opportunity to be one the leading innovators in the shift to the four-day work week is fantastic and feels like a natural step for a progressive and modern organisation such as Amplitude.

“I trust my staff to get the work done as best suits and I am never let down.”

Amplitude will start by staggering employees days off before closing completely on Fridays but want to make sure their customers do not face the consequences of the scheme.

Ms Burns- Russell continued: “We’ve done a lot of work behind the scenes on process mapping and project management, ensuring we can produce outputs of the same quality and quantity, and provide the same level of service, despite a shorter working week.”