South of Scotland Enterprise launches four-day week pilot

South of Scotland EnterpriseSouth of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) has begun a four-day week pilot, which aims to explore the potential benefits of this kind of working week for its employees.

The organisation’s 141 employees will work a 32-hour week over the course of four days during the pilot, reducing their current working week by three hours. They will continue to be available Monday to Friday to support, advise and guide businesses, social enterprises and community groups.

Data will be gathered and analysed throughout the pilot, which will be shared with the Scottish government and public and private sector partners, to help understand the benefits and challenges of a four-day week.

The trial, which is part of a 12-month pathfinder project, will form part of the Scottish government’s four-day working week pilot that was announced in the Programme for Government last month. It is set to launch with other public bodies later this year.

Jane Morrison-Ross, chief executive of South of Scotland Enterprise, said: “We believe taking part in this innovative pilot matches these values, and has the potential to provide benefits to our productivity, our workforce in terms of health and wellbeing, and allowing colleagues to contribute further to the regional economy.

“Wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do at SOSE, and we want to support our staff to be their best outside of work so they can be their best when they’re at work. This will enable SOSE to provide further intelligence for evidence-based studies around this topic, such as the theory around there being a number of unproductive hours per day for organisations which operate the traditional five-day working week.”

Neil Gray, wellbeing economy and fair work secretary, added: “We welcome the start of SOSE’s pathfinder project and will incorporate the insights and findings it provides into our pilot. Work is at an advanced stage to engage a partner to design, support and produce an evaluation report.”