During the pilot, AKA Case Management staff will be paid their standard salaries for 32 hours of work a week, rather than 40.
The firm, which manages brain injury cases, is among 70 companies which have signed up for the pilot scheme, which has been organised by 4 Day Week Global in partnership with the Autonomy think tank, the 4 Day Week UK Campaign, and researchers at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge and Boston College.
14 full-time employees at AKA will take part in the pilot, with staff divided into groups that either have Monday or Friday as their additional day off to ensure the five working days remain covered.
AKA director, Andrew Rose, told Manchester Evening News that the decision to take-part in the trial was a “no-brainer”, given the emphasis that the firm places upon staff wellbeing.
Rose said: “Wellbeing has always been something really important to us. As a business, we support individuals with complex brain injury in the community…we are wanting them to look after themselves…if we're not doing that, then how can we be truly modelling that behaviour?
“I’ve been looking at four-day weeks ever since the first trials around the world, it’s something we thought would be beneficial. But we thought it would be a few years down the line - then we saw the global trial come up. We had about a 30-second discussion and thought ‘let’s go for it’.
“It’s supported by research, which is fabulous, that provides us with feedback and support in the trial. We just thought it was too good an opportunity to turn down.”
Rose, who works from home at his Peak District residence, has opted to take Monday as his additional day off, allowing him to spend more time with his family.
“I have a little boy who is four, so I spent a day with him, which I don’t usually get to do. My daughter, who is five, had an inset day at school too so we went to Lyme Park, had a walk and went to the play area.
“My partner and I were also getting the house ready for guests staying later that week, so it meant we didn’t have that stress of working late and trying to do it. When my little boy goes to school in September, it will be about getting out walking and doing things for me.
“And further down the line, I will probably look for voluntary work as well. I'm looking forward to my retirement, which isn't for quite a while yet, but actually preparing for what my life will be like when I retire so I don’t get that cliff edge of, ‘what do I do now?’”
Image by Alesia Kazantceva on Unsplash