MTC Permanently Implements 4-Day Workweek After 50% of Employees Report Higher Productivity

July 13, 2022

The Manufacturing Technology Center (MTC) will permanently implement flexible working measures, including a four-day week, following a two-year large-scale trial that saw half the workforce work report higher productivity.

Clive Hickman, CEO of MTC

The decision to test the new approach follows a thorough review of flexible working options, in response to employee feedback.

“We’ve had flexible working models since April 2018, but employee engagement surveys have shown that staff want to expand this,” said Vicki Sanderson, director of human resources at the Manufacturing Technology Centre.

“We explored a range of options, including researching what was important to Millennials and Gen Z, as 79% of our workforce falls into these categories. Work-life balance was the priority, and the results of our survey bear this out.

As of April 2020, the fully flexible working week trial provided a range of flexible working arrangements – including a four-day week – to approximately 615 employees across the organization.

As a result of these measures, 83% of employees said they were happier, 42% said their energy levels had increased and 40% saw an improvement in their mental health, according to a staff survey.

A separate external evaluation conducted by Loughborough University found that employee response had been “overwhelmingly positive” and a major draw for new hires.

“The positive impact on staff was evident,” Sanderson said. “After 12 months of testing, 96% wanted the fully flexible working week to be permanently adopted, and these changes have had a direct impact on improving the mental and physical well-being of our employees, while improving business productivity.

Following the successful trial, the MTC will make its flexible working policies permanent from September for all 820 employees, with no reduction in pay. The MTC will now work with industry partners, such as Rolls-Royce, Siemens and Meggitt, to share data and lessons learned from the trial.

“We know that in the manufacturing sector in particular, it is very difficult to offer certain positions in a flexible way, for example the possibility of working more from home. But other ways of doing this should be considered, and our study has proven that it is possible,” Sanderson said.

The trial also revealed significant environmental benefits for flexible working. The MTC calculated that 664 tons of carbon would be saved each year by all employees commuting one less to work each week, illustrating how flexible working is another step in helping the company achieve its goals. of sustainable development.

Dr Clive Hickman OBE, Managing Director of the Manufacturing Technology Centre, said: “Flexible working was the norm at MTC long before the pandemic, but employees told us we could do more. The result is our fully flexible working week, including a four-day week, which I am proud to make permanent. The MTC is striving to become the most attractive employer in the country, and this is a big step towards achieving that.

Dr Ella-Mae Hubbard, senior lecturer at Loughborough University and author of the external review, added: “It is clear from our study that there are strong feelings about the trial. For MTC employees, the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive and for new staff members, these new policies have been one of the main reasons they have joined MTC. »


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