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In June 2022, 70 UK companies kicked off a four-day working week as part of the world’s largest trial of this new working pattern, with no loss of pay for employees. This experiment seeks to address a myriad of workplace issues such as stress and burnout, job and life satisfaction, health, sleep, energy use and travel. 

The UK’s deskless workers – including those working in critical industries such as the public sector, retail and manufacturing – are often left out of these discussions. Strikingly, these are the very industries suffering the most severe talent crises.   

WorkForce Software’s SVP of EMEA, Steve Tonks, spoke with HR Zone about the four-day work week experiment and how it overlooks the needs of the deskless workforce. He says several factors play into this talent shortage. However, to help address it, employers must ensure that deskless roles offer the same flexibility as corporate roles. 

“Technology can enable employers to offer flexibility and provide shift workers with more control over their individual schedules, without sacrificing organisational needs,” Tonks says. “Workforce management systems enable employers to ensure enhanced experiences that parallel the change in working practices enjoyed elsewhere.”