Autonomy research notes that if workers work less hours for the same salary, businesses will prosper with proper planning.
In the U.K., a carefully planned four-day week could quickly be implemented. A think tank has said, which will be sustainable for most firms with more than 50 workers.
A study by Autonomy – which campaigns without a reduction in pay for a shorter working week – said that most of the 50,000 businesses surveyed would be able to cope with the transition through higher productivity or price rises.
The think tank said that, beginning with the public sector, the government should discuss ways to introduce a four-day workweek.
Although several businesses are struggling to deal with the continuing consequences of the UK’s worst economic recession, In more than 300 years, Autonomy said that even in its worst case scenario, after the initial phase of the Covid 19 pandemic is over, a four-day week will be affordable for most businesses.
However, it noted that if the reforms were introduced too quickly, certain businesses in industries where labor costs are high and profit margins are small would face cash flow issues.
Will Stronge, research director at Autonomy, said, “Reducing working hours is a perfectly realistic goal for the near future for the vast majority of companies.”
We can dispel any misconceptions regarding the financial feasibility of a four-day week by performing a hypothetical ‘stress test’.
It would be important to carefully prepare any policy push, and different tactics would need to be used for various industries. It’s worth remembering, though, that most businesses would still stay viable if it were to happen overnight and without planning.
“The four-day week is picking up steam around the world after Covid-19, and we urge the government to start exploring the best options for its introduction.”
A shorter work week will help boost poor UK productivity and improve well-being, Autonomy said.
It added that it was possible that reforms would first take place in the public sector, but by establishing more public holidays and reintroducing pro-union legislation, the process of shifting standards and behavioral norms could be accelerated.
“Peter Dowd, Bootle’s Labour MP and former Shadow Chief Treasury Secretary, said, “If the government is serious about grading this country, then the four-day week should be considered as one of the best ways to spread work more evenly across the economy.
“I’m in favor of introducing the four-day week because all the evidence shows it would increase wellbeing, improve productivity and give British workers a much better work-life balance.”