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The Royal Society of Biology has opted into a new scheme to trial a four day working week for its staff.

The trial will see participating staff allocated to Monday to Thursday and Tuesday to Friday shifts, with the Society still remaining open and active throughout the working week.

The surrounding and supporting research will explore how a shorter working week impacts productivity and working conditions, and how the additional day off per week impacts  work life balance.

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Staff will compress a 35 hour week over five days to a 32 hour week over four days, with teams and members working different days of the week to ensure the Society is still open and covering all functions as usual.

The trial is set to begin in June of this year, and will last six months.

The RSB joins more than 60 other companies from across the UK who are also taking part in the trial, run by academics at the University of Oxford and Cambridge, Boston College in the US, and campaign groups 4 Day Week Global, the 4 Day Week UK Campaign and the Autonomy thinktank.

RSB Chief Executive Dr Mark Downs CSci FRSB commented: “It’s about trying to do more to be a good, innovative employer to attract and retain our current staff.”

Reflecting on the positive response to participating in the trial among current staff he added: “These sorts of possibilities make a massive difference. It’s great for everybody.”

Joe O’Connor, the chief executive of 4 Day Week Global commented: “Increasingly, managers and executives are embracing a new model of work which focuses on quality of outputs, not quantity of hours."

“Workers have emerged from the pandemic with different expectations around what constitutes a healthy life-work balance.”