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World's largest 4-day workweek experiment launched in U.K.

UK launches world's largest 4-day workweek experiment
UK launches world's largest 4-day workweek experiment 02:13

LONDON -- Taking care of business means working five days a week - or so we thought. The U.K. has launched the world's largest 4-day workweek experiment.

Shaun Rutland, CEO of Hutch Games Ltd, signed up his business for the trial.

"We're trying to be more productive and more creative in a shorter time span and then get more rest," Rutland said. 

Hutch is one of 73 companies participating. Rutland says the idea makes business sense.

"Hiring talent is really hard, and you have to offer an attractive work environment," he said.

But fewer days doesn't mean less work. According to Rutland, "You have to work extremely, extremely hard and extremely compressed. So, and I think investors need to hear that."

Workers get 100 percent pay for fewer days, but they have to maintain full productivity.

"It's been a struggle at times to get on top of everything and stay on top of everything," Hutch Studio Manager George Coles said.

Still, he admits the extra day off is kind of nice.

"It's been wonderful. I've managed to go do a lot of extracurricular activities," Coles said.

Nonprofit "4 Day Week Global" is spearheading the 6-month study that involves roughly 3,500 workers.

"If it's done right, this is something that can deliver very significant benefits for both the employer and the employee. This can be a win-win," CEO Joe O'Connor said. 

But O'Connor adds, "This is not a one size fits all approach, but some version of the shorter workweek can be achieved right across the economy."

Rutland says he won't hesitate to switch Hutch back to a 5-day workweek if productivity slips, but he sees 4-day workweeks as the future.

"I don't have much control about what the government does, but I do have control about what this business does and what this business can contribute to society," he said.

If everybody is working toward the weekend, someday we all might have fewer days to go.

Sixty U.S. companies have signed up for the 4-day workweek trial.

Researchers from Boston College are monitoring the experiment and say employees are reporting less stress and burnout and better physical and mental health.

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