Four-day working week really IS secret to happier, healthier life, experts say

Four-day working week really IS secret to happier, healthier life, experts say

IF the thought of going to work on a Monday fills you with dread, you’re not alone.
Scientists have found that working a four-day week would make us all happier and healthier.
Getty – Contributor Working such long hours isn’t do anyone any favours
In a report published by the New Economics Forum earlier this year, campaigners argued that we should be paid the same as we do now – but working one day fewer.
“Reduced hours are highly correlated with lower emissions, and they also yield improvements in worker well-being, gender equity, and productivity,” she said.
“We are making the case for a reduction in working time without a reduction in pay,” Aidan Harper of the NEF told New Scientist.
The group claimed working between 50 and 60 hours a week was bad for both mental and physical health.
Brits spend an average of 42 hours at work each week
Feel like you spend your life at the office? Well, you do; we spend more time there than anyone else in Europe
Denmark works the shortest week, clocking in just 37 hours, 48 minutes.
Scientists from the Australian National University have found that you can work up to 40 hours a week before it starts to have a detrimental effect on you.
We’re in the middle of stress crisis in this country right now, with 74 per cent of Brits saying that they’d felt “overwhelmed and unable to cope” at some point in the past year.
For 18-24-year-olds, that figure shoots up to 83 per cent.
So it’s hardly a wonder that we’re crying out for more time off.
Working more is bad for the environment
But it’s not just the immediate health issues that come with working so much that could be improved.
Experts also believe that we’re ruining the environment by working so much.
Scientists from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden found that introducing a four-day week could cut emissions by 16 per cent.
The main reason we’d release fewer ozone-layer-damaging emissions is because we’d have less income to spend on environmentally unfriendly stuff.
But also, we’d be driving less and potentially using less electricity needed to power offices and businesses.
60 per cent of us want a four-day week
While the report calls for wages to remain the same regardless of office hours, nearly 10 per cent of Brits say that they’d be willing to take a pay cut in return for more free-time.
In January, a poll found that 60 per cent of Brits wanted a four-day working week.
“At a time when wealthy countries must achieve rapid reductions in carbon emissions, there is no better way to supplement energy policy with a new approach to work time,” Juliet Schor, Professor of Sociology at the University of Boston wrote in the report.
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Prof Schor previously called for the hours we work each week to be cut from 40 to 30.
In 2011, the NEF advised the UK government to follow the lead of Belgium, where workers have the right to request shorter hours and an increase in the minimum wage.
At the time, the NEF said that it was “time to make the ‘part-time’ the new ‘full-time'”.

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