Brighton and Hove News » Brighton businesses are encouraged to sign up for a four-day working week trial

MRL Consulting Group in Hove were the early pioneers of the four day week

Brighton businesses are invited to sign up for a three-month trial of a four-day working week.

University of Sussex psychology professor Dr Charlotte Rae has studied the effects of shortening the working week and says early research has shown significant benefits for staff.

She will present the first results of the Sussex 4 Day Week project and an event called The Science Behind the 4 Day Week, on Wednesday 26 October at Brighton Girls School on Montpelier Road.

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the project is now looking for other companies to sign up to test a four-day week for three months, starting anytime. Employees would receive 100% of their salary for working 80% of their normal working hours.

According to the researchers, results so far have shown significant health benefits, including sleep and mental health.

Company performance measures further showed that productivity was either maintained or improved, with five of the six companies running the trial now intending to make the four-day working week permanent.

Dr Charlotte Rae, lecturer in psychology at the University of Sussex, said: ‘It has been widely argued for some time now that the five-day, 9-5 working week is outdated and no longer suitable for a variety of reasons, including important to health, cost and the environment.

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“However, it’s only through trials like ours that we finally get the science to properly back this up.

“Our research shows that a four-day work week can bring huge benefits not only to staff well-being, but also to overall workplace performance.

“We hope that as many local employers as possible will join us at The Science behind the 4 day week event, and that after hearing our findings and how a 4 day week works in practice members of the panel, will be inspired to also participate in our trial.

“By doing so, they will not only support important research, but will hopefully also reap valuable benefits for their business and their workforce.”

One of the first companies in the country to pilot a four-day week was Hove-based MRL Consulting Group, which implemented it for six months in 2019.

After seeing significant improvements in staff retention, productivity and reduced short-term absences, the company made the change permanent.

Next week’s free event, in partnership with the Brighton Chamber of Commerce, is part of the two-week National Social Science Festival.

Those unable to attend the event can get more details and sign up for the trial by visiting

The Sussex 4 Day Week project is one of many national trials conducted on the impact of a shorter working week, but it is the only one that measures the biological benefits of shorter working hours alongside the performance of the company.

Currently being tested by six Brighton companies, employees have undertaken a series of assessments, from in-depth questionnaires to in-person biological tests such as MRIs and blood tests, to track the psychological and physical impact of working four to four. instead of five. days a week.

The science behind the week-long four-day event will include a presentation of the scientific data obtained by the team so far, as well as a panel discussion with employers and employees currently participating in the trial.

A final Q&A session will allow other local business owners to ask additional questions.

To book a free ticket for The Science Behind the four-day week event, visit

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