Global affiliate network Awin, which began a four-day working week trial in January of this year, has seen a 59% decrease in the number of staff taking sick leave, while candidate applications have risen by 12% in this period.

Having embarked on a trial of a four-day working week in January 2021, the global affiliate network has shared an update on the success of the trial, looking at sick leave, staff happiness, and individual comments from employees.


When comparing the amount of sick leave taken by staff in the first quarter of 2021 (January 1st – 31st March), it was found that this had decreased by a massive -59% when compared with the same period in 2020.


Although lockdown only began in late March 2020, to discount COVID entirely the sick leave figures from Q1 2021 were compared with Q1 2019 – still revealing a decrease of -29%.


In a bi-weekly survey of employees, the company found that there has been a year-on-year increase of 12.8% in staff engagement since bringing in the trial of the four-day week. Meanwhile, staff rated accomplishment (how much they can achieve) at 9% higher in February 2021 compared with 2020.


The team also looked at the number of global candidate applications in Q1 2021 compared to Q1 2020, finding that these had risen by a substantial 12%. The churn rate (i.e. staff members that have left Awin’s employment) has also been steadily decreasing since 2019, with 2021 figures the lowest yet.


Of all Awin’s employees, those with young children in particular have benefitted, such as Stephen Buxton – Head of Key Account Management in the UK – who welcomed his first baby last year. He said “It’s been great for getting a better life balance, especially as a new parent”.


Stephen cites that “having time with [his daughter]” is one of the key advantages of having a 4-day week, along with “having a day to do any personal or household admin [he needs] to do”. The introduction of the trial has allowed Stephen to “have a much better work-life balance, and ultimately have more time to work on being a good dad.”


Speaking on the 4-day working week trial, Ian Charlesworth, Regional Managing Director at, said:


“We are delighted but not that surprised to report the positive results of our 4-day work week trial; with staff wellbeing our number one priority, it’s great to see from our bi-weekly surveys that this has improved across the board, with the reduction in the number of sick days and increase in engagement scores suggesting a happy and motivated workforce in general.


It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers, but what brings to life our experience of the 4 day work weeks is hearing the real life stories from people like Stephen as to how they are investing this additional time into their families, hobbies, and personal development.”