A manufacturing company offers a four-day week to all of its 820 employees

A Coventry-based manufacturing firm has confirmed it will permanently offer its 820 staff a four-day week.

Industrial research firm The Manufacturing Technology Center said it plans to implement the new work structure after half of employees reported improved productivity.

The company said all workers will now have the option of working a four-day week, ensuring they will still work 36 hours a week under contract, from September.

It comes after a two-year trial at the company, which saw 50% of workers report having better levels of productivity than during a five-day week.

Meanwhile, 83% of employees said they were happier, 42% reported an increase in their energy levels and 40% experienced better mental health, according to staff surveys.

“We’ve had flexible working models since April 2018, but employee engagement surveys have shown that staff want to expand this,” said Vicki Sanderson, director of human resources at MTC.

“We explored a range of options, including researching what was important to Millennials and Gen Z, as 79% of our workforce falls into these categories.

“Work-life balance was the priority, and our survey results reflect that.”

The center said it will now share its data and lessons from the trial with industry partners such as Siemens, Rolls-Royce and Meggitt.

Dr Clive Hickman, Managing Director of MTC, said: “Flexible working was the norm at MTC long before the pandemic, but employees told us we could do more.

“The result is our fully flexible working week, including a four-day week, which I am proud to make permanent.

“The MTC is striving to be the most attractive employer in the country, and this is a big step towards achieving that.”

It comes after the UK’s biggest trial of a new four-day working week started last month, with more than 3,300 workers from 70 companies taking part.

Laura J. Boyer