A Cirencester business where staff left due to the intense pressure they were under is to trial a four-day working week in an attempt to tackle mental and physical burnout.
Landscape planning, ecology and arboriculture consultancy, Tyler Grange, is among 60 companies taking part in a six-month pilot programme beginning in June.
Workers will be given an extra day off a week, but have no loss of income.
Simon Ursell, managing director at Tyler Grange, said: “Our discussions around this initiative began four years ago.
“Like many people in our industry, including our competitors and clients, we were pretty tired.
“Talks were framed around how busy we were, and how much we needed to do, and a lack of time for actually living.”
“We know that mental health issues are rife in consultancy. It’s an industry which has too often been plagued by growing demands, diminishing timescales and increasing complexity.
“In the past, we had a few members of the team part ways with us, citing that they couldn’t keep the pace up and needed to change how they worked. We realised that being constantly ‘on’ wasn’t sustainable and isn’t what we wanted for our business.
“Mental and physical burnout is a real problem, and it can’t be glossed over anymore. It’s time to make a change.”
The company say productivity could increase by up to 15 per cent and they are expecting to see reduced absences.
Harry Madeley, head of special operations at Tyler Grange, said: “With that extra day off, we’ll be more refreshed, more focused.
“For me that means more time with my daughter which I’m really excited about. And I’ve still got a lot of DIY to finish at home.”
The pilot scheme is being coordinated by 4 Day Week Global in partnership with UK think tank Autonomy, the 4 Day Week UK Campaign and researchers at Cambridge University, Boston College and Oxford University.
READ MORE: New shop opens in Cirencester
Joe Ryle, 4 Day Week campaign director, said: “The four-day week with no loss of pay is a win-win for workers and employers.
“Companies across the UK are beginning to embrace this model as a way of retaining staff and attracting new talent after the pandemic.
“The pilot programme will gather the evidence to prove it works – from a productivity perspective but also an employee wellbeing perspective.”