Breaking the "‘blaze and burn culture’": Award winning Bristol organisation celebrates one year of working 4 days a week
Bristol-based not-for-profit, City to Sea, is celebrating 12 months of working a 4-day week with no loss of pay for its 19 employees. The environmental organisation adopted a 6-month trial in September 2021 before formally adopting the policy in the spring of 2022.
The not-for-profit has been officially accredited as a 'Gold Standard' four-day week employer under the 4 Day Week Campaign's accreditation scheme that recognises four-day week employers in the UK. Since adopting the policy the organisation reported an increase in employee wellbeing, and productivity as well as a better work-life balance.
City to Sea is a Bristol-based environmental charity campaigning to stop plastic pollution at source known for its award-winning campaigns such as Refill, Plastic Free Periods and the recent Cut the Cutlery.
The celebration coincides with Peter Dowd MP’s tabling a bill to legislate to reduce the working week to 32 hours. Since the Covid pandemic, the four-day working week has become more popular and is now being trialled and implemented across the world.
Numerous studies have shown that moving to a four-day week boosts productivity and workers’ well-being. When Microsoft trialled a four-day week with no loss of pay in their Japan office, productivity went up by 40%.
Last year, Atom Bank became the largest UK four-day week employer with all 430 staff moving to a four-day, 34 hour working week, with no reduction in pay.
Over 60 companies have signed up for the UK's biggest ever four-day week pilot which begins in June 2022. The pilot is being run by 4 Day Week Global in partnership with leading think tank Autonomy, the 4 Day Week Campaign and researchers at Cambridge University, Oxford University and Boston College.
Steve Hynd, City to Sea's Policy Manager commented,
"Working for a 4 day a week employer has helped me improve my physical and mental health. I can spend more time with my young children. It allows space to breathe and to take stock in an otherwise incredibly busy life. Crucially when I am at work it helps me work more productively. It's not a silver bullet but it is part of a package of positive HR policies that most organisations could and should adopt."
Hetti Dysch, City to Sea’s HR Manager commented,
"The ‘blaze and burn culture’ of faster, bigger, and better creates workforce burnout and fatigue. Ultimately this culture has led to climate catastrophe as profit is placed above the protection of our precious planet. At City to Sea, we’ve switched to the 4 Day week as we care about the long-term wellbeing of our team who campaign to protect our oceans from plastic pollution."