Bye bye burnout? Superdry trials four-day week
By Simon Hacker | 13th March 2023
A final verdict on a four-day week trial suggests a win-win for Gloucestershire business.
And with one Cotswold firm saying bye-bye to "burnout life", Cheltenham-based Superdry is reported to be already introducing part of its retail workforce to the new shift pattern.
Starting as a market stall in Cheltenham, Superdry now employs 735 people at its head office in The Runnings, Cheltenham, and counts more than 4,000 workers on its books in total across the UK and globally.
Current declared guidelines on working for Superdry state: "How individuals work and apply their hours is up to a team member and their manager based on their needs and the needs of the business. We treat everyone like adults and trust everyone to find the best way to get the job done, in partnership with their team and peers."
But fashion retailing publisher Drapers reports Superdry began to look at instigating the practice in October: "teams were looking for more flexibility and had introduced a four-day week with compressed hours for all full-time store team members that same month".
Fresh findings for the broad four-day week debate show there may be little to dislike for employers switching over to a timetable where staff effectively work shorter hours for the same pay. After a six-month trial in the UK among a variety of companies, the conclusions by the think tank Autonomy and leading academics at the University of Cambridge and USA's Boston College makes stark reading.
Its top finding revealed almost every company (92%) that took part decided to continue with the four-day week. Of the 61 companies that joined in, at least 56 vowed to continue, employee feedback showing performance and productivity was maintained.
In fact, Rendcomb-based environmental consultants Tyler Grange, who took part, found productivity increased by 102%, while employees felt happier, absenteeism fell and the firm reports it is flooded with applications for employment.
Simon Ursell, managing director, told Punchline: "The UK has an unhealthy culture where it is seen as a badge of honour to work all the time, yet our productivity levels are low and younger talent - as well as the brilliant talent that we want to attract at all levels of our business - doesn't want to be defined by a burnout life."
Punchline approached Superdry for comment. It is understood that there are no stated plans as yet for the fashion brand to change timetabling for HQ staff.
Copyright 2023 Moose Partnership Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any content is strictly forbidden without prior permission.