Cut the working week to 21 hours, says report

The working week should be restricted to 21 hours to tackle issues like work life balance, according to a report by the New Economics Foundation.

The working week should be restricted to 21 hours to tackle issues like work life balance, according to a report by the New Economics Foundation.
The Foundation says having a four-day working week could cut consumption, ensure more equality by providing more jobs all round and mean employees are healthy enough to work into their later years and alleviate the so-called pensions timebomb.
It cites the US state of Utah’s decision in 2008 to make all public sector workers work only four days a week and says this saved energy, reduced sickness rates and increased productivity.
The report said that, despite the fact that two adult households work on average six hours longer than 30 years ago, an increasing number already worked less than the five day 9-5. It added that flexible work options like job sharing are likely to increase.
Among other positives of a 21-hour week it said people would have more time for social relationships, be able to engage more with the community and would not find it so hard to adjust to life after retirement.
The Institute of Directors said organisations are encouraging flexible working, but a certain amount of continuity was necessary.
A survey from recruitment site Monster said 37% of employees says work gets in the way of their relationships and 23% said they feel they have to put work before everything else.
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Comments [1]

  • Laura Swain says:

    The moral basis for 21-hour-a-week is upon the idea (I believe) that if living standards are improved (for example – time for leisure, health, good food, family etc.) that people will get by with less money. There may be some middle way between the existing system and an imposed 21 hour working week. Germany would entertain this idea at least as their culture is very family orientated (for instance – they do not open their shops on a Sunday so people who work in the retail sector do not have to work on this day). Here in Britain, on the other hand, this would never wash. We work the most hours in Europe. Ceridian – The Future of Work


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