Following the mass adoption of hybrid work, there’s a potential new change to the way companies work and the amount of time they will be in the office for the real estate industry to get its head around — the four-day working week.

The vast majority of companies taking part in the world’s largest trial of a four-day week have chosen to retain the new working pattern, The Guardian reported.

Of the 61 companies that entered the six-month trial, 56 have extended the four-day week, including 18 that have made it permanent.

The result has been hailed by researchers as evidence that it could work across the UK economy and the findings were presented to MPs on 21 February as part of a push urging politicians to give workers a 32-hour week.

The UK pilot, which started in June 2022, has been promoted by New Zealand-based not-for-profit organisation 4 Day Week Global and overseen by the thinktank Autonomy and a team of academics.

The companies taking part were offered workshops and mentoring to help them rethink working practices and staff remained on their existing salary.

In total, about 2,900 employees across the UK have taken part in the pilot. Surveys of staff taken before and after found that 39% said they were less stressed, 40% were sleeping better and 54% said it was easier to balance work and home responsibilities.

The number of sick days taken during the trial fell by about two-thirds and 57% fewer staff left the firms taking part compared with the same period a year earlier.

The vast majority of companies reported that they were satisfied with productivity and business performance over the trial period.

“The economy doesn’t need us to be working five days a week any more. It was 100 years ago, the shift to a five-day week, and the economy’s transformed since then,” 4 Day Week Campaign Director Joe Ryle said.

Far from a gradual return to the office, surveys by Bloomberg and Savills alongside the research of 4 Day Week Global suggested that five-day occupancy is rapidly being consigned to the recycling bin.

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of London’s workers said they would rather quit their jobs than return to the office full time, a Bloomberg Intelligence survey of 500 office workers revealed.

Many respondents said they would demand inflation-busting pay hikes in order to give up their right to flexible working, with 4 in 10 saying they would need a raise of at least 16% to reconsider.

Meanwhile, research published by Savills and the Dublin Chamber revealed that average Dublin office occupancy rates on Mondays and Fridays are typically below 10%, compared with 51%-70% Tuesday to Thursday