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Britain Tests a 4-Day Workweek

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Britain Tests a 4-Day Workweek

A six-month program involving thousands of workers across 70 companies in Britain will be the latest effort to assess the effects of a shorter workweek.

Commuters in London. Monday was the first day of a six-month pilot program in Britain to test a four-day workweek.
Credit… Kirsty O’Connor/PA Images via Getty Images

Christine Hauser

LONDON — Thousands of employees across 70 companies in Britain started the first day of a four-day workweek on Monday, a pilot program that is the latest test in the decades-long quest to scale back workers’ hours while they earn the same amount of pay. The six-month-old trial was initiated by the non-profit groups 4 Day Week Global, 4 Day Week UK Campaign and Autonomy. This organization studies the effects of labor on well being. Researchers at Cambridge University, Oxford University and Boston College will assess its effect on productivity and quality of life and will announce results in 2023, the organizers said in a statement.

The program in Britain follows similar efforts in other countries, including Iceland, New Zealand, Scotland and the United States, where companies have embraced greater flexibility in work hours as more people worked remotely and adjusted their schedules during the pandemic. After the pandemic people want a work/life balance,” Joe Ryle (campaign director for the 4 Day Week Campaign) said in an interview. “They want to be working less.”

More than 3,300 workers in banks, marketing, health care, financial services, retail, hospitality and other industries in Britain are taking part in the pilot, the organizers said. According to Ryle, data will be collected via interviews and surveys of staff and the productivity measures used by each company. We’ll analyze how employees react to an extra day off in terms of stress, burnout, job satisfaction, energy use, sleep, health and many other aspects.” Juliet Schor, a sociology researcher at Boston College, stated that the project’s lead researcher was Juliet Schor.

In Britain, the experiment began as employees trickled back to work after a four-day holiday honoring the 70-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

Ed Siegel was the chief executive officer at Charity Bank, which took part in the pilot program. He said that a shorter workweek would make for happier employees.

” We have been advocates of flexible work for a long time, but the pandemic has changed our minds.

Platten’s, a fish and chip shop in Norfolk, England, is also participating in the program.

” We believe that giving our employees a better work-life balance will allow them to work more efficiently, and more effectively,” Callum Howard (a restaurant spokesperson) said. The four-day work week has been a dream of many for decades. In 1956, then-Vice President Richard Nixon predicted such an arrangement in the “not too distant future.” But the reality has been unevenly implemented globally over the years, Dr. Schor, who is also leading research into other trials, said in a telephone interview.

Individual companies have tailored their approaches, particularly as the pandemic upended traditional work culture. In the United States, some companies allowed employees to trim their workweek, by cutting out Fridays, working hybrid shifts, taking pay cuts for fewer hours or setting their own timetables.

In New Zealand, the company Unilever kicked off a shorter workweek trial in 2020. In Iceland, a trial with a weekly work time reduction to 35 or 36 hours, involving about 2,500 government workers, has expanded during the pandemic, with 86 percent of all Icelandic workers now on, or eligible for, shorter time schedules, Dr. Schor said. The majority of these efforts are being made in the private sector. However, governments in Spain and Scotland have announced support for workweeks that last four days, she stated. On Aug. 1, trials began in Australia and Ireland, and two more are scheduled to begin in the United States and Canada.

The main reason for the increase in demand for shorter workweeks was the ability to work from home during the pandemic, Dr. Schor stated. She said, “It made employers realize that they could trust workers.”

Companies will also have to restructure their work processes.

” Companies that do this well take the burden off of employees,” she stated. “The most common work reorganization has to do with meetings — the excessive number of meetings, excessive length and lack of efficiency in meetings.”

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are
A player shouldering the ball



(Image credit: EA)

FIFA 23 might be the best game soccer game yet for terrible sports fans, as it lets you turn off commentary that criticizes your bad playing.

Now that the early access FIFA 23 release time has passed, EA Play and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can hop into the game ahead of its full release. But as Eurogamer (opens in new tab) spotted, they’ll find a peculiar option waiting for them.

FIFA 23 includes a toggle to turn off ‘Critical Commentary’. The setting lets you silence all negative in-match comments made about your technique, so you can protect your precious ego even when you miss an open goal or commit an obvious foul. The more positive commentary won’t be affected. 

Spare your feelings

A player dribbling the ball in FIFA 23

(Image credit: EA)

The feature looks tailored toward children and new players, who don’t want to have their confidence wrecked within mere minutes of picking up the controller. But even experienced players who just so happen to be terrible at the game might benefit.

It’s not perfect, though. According to Eurogamer, the feature didn’t seem to work during a FIFA Ultimate Team Division Rivals match, with critical comments slipping through the filter. Still, who hasn’t benefited from a light grilling every now and then?

Polite commentary isn’t the only new addition in FIFA 23. It’s the first game in the series to include women’s club football teams, and fancy overhauled animations that take advantage of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S’s new-gen hardware. EA will be hoping to end on a high, as FIFA 23 will be the last of its soccer games to release with the official FIFA licence.

If disabling critical commentary doesn’t improve your soccer skills, maybe building a squad of Marvel superheroes will. Although you might not do much better with Ted Lasso wandering the pitch.

FIFA 23 is set to fully release this Friday, September 30.

Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games. 

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch
The backs of the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro



(Image credit: Google)

We’re starting to hear more and more Google Pixel 7 leaks, with the launch of the phone just a week away, but tech fans might be getting a lot of déjà vu, with the leaks all listing near-identical specs to what we heard about the Pixel 6 a year ago.

It sounds like the new phones – a successor to the Pixel 6 Pro is also expected – could be very similar to their 2021 predecessors. And a new price leak has suggested that the phones’ costs could be the same too, as a Twitter user spotted the Pixel 7 briefly listed on Amazon (before being promptly taken down, of course).

Google pixel 7 on Amazon US. $599.99.It is still showing up in search cache but the listing gives an error if you click on it. We have the B0 number to keep track of though!#teampixel pic.twitter.com/w5Z09D28YESeptember 27, 2022

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According to these listings, the Pixel 7 will cost $599 while the Pixel 7 Pro will cost $899, both of which are identical to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro starting prices. The leak doesn’t include any other region prices, but in the UK the current models cost £599 and £849, while in Australia they went for AU$999 and AU$1,299.

So it sounds like Google is planning on retaining the same prices for its new phones as it sold the old ones for, a move which doesn’t make much sense.


Analysis: same price, new world

Google’s choice to keep the same price points is a little curious when you consider that the specs leaks suggest these phones are virtually unchanged from their predecessors. You’re buying year-old tech for the same price as before.

Do bear in mind that the price of tech generally lowers over time, so you can readily pick up a cheaper Pixel 6 or 6 Pro right now, and after the launch of the new ones, the older models will very likely get even cheaper.

But there’s another key factor to consider in the price: $599 might be the same number in 2022 as it was in 2021, but with the changing global climate, like wars and flailing currencies and cost of living crises, it’s a very different amount of money.

Some people just won’t be willing to shell out the amount this year, that they may have been able to last year. But this speaks to a wider issue in consumer tech.

Google isn’t the only tech company to completely neglect the challenging global climate when pricing its gadgets: Samsung is still releasing super-pricey folding phones, and the iPhone 14 is, for some incomprehensible reason, even pricier than the iPhone 13 in some regions. 

Too few brands are actually catering to the tough economic times many are facing right now, with companies increasing the price of their premium offerings to counter rising costs, instead of just designing more affordable alternatives to flagships.

These high and rising prices suggest that companies are totally out of touch with their buyers, and don’t understand the economic hardship troubling many.

We’ll have to reach a breaking point sooner or later, either with brands finally clueing into the fact that they need to release cheaper phones, or with customers voting with their wallets by sticking to second-hand or refurbished devices. But until then, you can buy the best cheap phones to show that cost is important to you.

Tom’s role in the TechRadar team is to specialize in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working in TechRadar freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. Outside of TechRadar he works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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