A six-month trial of a four-day working week has launched in the UK today (January 17).

The new trial has the backing of 30 British companies who have asked employees to maintain 100% productivity for 80% of the time.

Employees will still be paid a full wage despite working one day less a week. 

The pilot has been launched by 4 Day Week Global in partnership with think tank Autonomy and the 4 Day Week UK Campaign.

Joe O’Connor, the Pilot Programme Manager for 4 Day Week Global, said: "More and more businesses are moving to productivity-focused strategies to enable them to reduce worker hours without reducing pay.

"We are excited by the growing momentum and interest in our pilot program and in the four-day week more broadly.

"The four-day week challenges the current model of work and helps companies move away from simply measuring how long people are ‘at work’, to a sharper focus on the output being produced. 2022 will be the year that heralds in this bold new future of work."

Witney Gazette: The new trial starts on January 17 (Canva)The new trial starts on January 17 (Canva)

There are also researchers at Cambridge University, Oxford University and Boston College involved in the trial. 

Spain and Scotland have already launched pilots of the trial, as Nicola Sturgeon promised a better work-life balance in her election manifesto. 

Researchers will be measuring the impact on productivity, the wellbeing of workers, the impact on the environment and gender equality. 

Tech company Microsoft has already trialled the four-day week and reported enhanced productivity from its workers in Japan. 

Companies that are taking part in the UK trial include Unilever and Morrisons