Manufacturing firm offers four-day week to all 820 staff

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

Industry research business The Manufacturing Technology Centre has said it plans to implement the new working structure after half of employees reported better productivity.

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

It comes after a two-year trial at the company, which resulted in 50% of workers saying they have better productivity levels than during a five-day week.

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

“We’ve been operating flexible working patterns since April 2018, but employee engagement surveys have shown that staff wanted to extend this further,” said Vicki Sanderson, HR director at the MTC.

“We explored a range of options, including researching what was important for millennials and generation Z, as 79% of our workforce fall into these categories.

“Work-life balance was the priority, and our survey results reflected this.”

The centre said it will now share its data and lessons from the trial with industrial partners including Siemens, Rolls-Royce and Meggitt.

Dr Clive Hickman, chief executive of the MTC, said: “Flexible working has been the norm at the MTC long before the pandemic, but employees told us there was more we could do.

“The result is our Fully Flexible Working Week, including a four-day week, which I’m proud to be making permanent.

“The MTC is striving to become 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 at 70 companies taking part.