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Shorter working week would boost productivity, UK study suggests

By Alan Jones, PA Industrial Correspondent

A four-day working week could save UK businesses more than £100 billion a year, a new study suggests.

Henley Business School said its research indicated that a shorter working week, on full pay, could lead to increased productivity and improve workers' physical and mental health.

Cutting down would also lead to a cleaner environment, said the report.

Most businesses which have already adopted a four-day working week have reported improvements in staff productivity, and increased the quality of life for employees, it was found.

Two thirds of employers said moving to a four-day working week has helped them attract and retain staff.

Most workers were keen to cut down to four days, said the business school, which conducted a survey among more than 250 firms operating a four-day working week.

Professor Karen Jansen of Henley Business School said: "Today's challenge with implementing the four-day working week and other flexible work arrangements lies in the heritage of the term.

"Flexible work arrangements have historically been viewed as 'special' or stigmatised and led by organisations, but views are changing.

"Individuals are now the ones pushing for a broader view of flexibility as better and smarter ways of working."