UK supermarket giant Morrisons has announced that it will trial a 4-day workweek at its Bradford corporate HQ, in the north of England. The headquarters will actually be open six days a week, but people will work shifts.

Under the plan, which comes into effect on July 27, the offices will become a six-day operation, including Saturdays. Staff will be phased back into the office from that date.

Speaking exclusively to The Yorkshire Post, Morrisons said the aim was to modernise its ways of working, make the business a more attractive place to work, and support its stores which are also open at the weekend….

Individuals will reduce their weekly hours from 40 to 37.5, working nine instead of eight hours a day over four days plus a six-hour shift one Saturday a month. Pay will not be affected.

So while it’s a more modest change than a straight drop to 32-hour weeks, and people will have to work a little on the occasional Saturday, total hours will go down, and people will have more three-day weeks.

A spokesman said: “We’ve learned a lot during the Covid outbreak but this has been planned for some time. We trialled it last year with some colleagues so it was a planned decision.”

They’ve been thinking about this for some time, apparently: there are news reports from last summer saying that they’d studied 4-day week experiments in Australia.

It’s also worth noting that they’re not the first supermarket to adjust hours this way: in Korea, the Shinsegae Group implemented a 35-hour plan in 2018, and in Japan 7-Eleven (which is huge) has been offering 4-day weeks for several years.