Brits should only work four days a week and go shopping instead to boost struggling high streets, study reveals

INTRODUCING a four-day week could boost high street sales by up to £58million.

Letting people have an extra day over the weekend doesn't just give people extra time to shop, it could also increase spending on hobbies, gardening and DIY, according to a new study.

The research, which was carried out by ParcelHero, also found that a four-day week would boost recruitment by making jobs more attractive.

Consumer research boss David Jinks told the Mirror that it could also boost hospitality, a sector which has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Experts have been calling for the UK to consider a four-day week following successes in Iceland.

Employees in the Icelandic trial – which reduced hours to 35 hours per week – were less stressed and reported a better work-life balance.

At the same time, productivity stayed high, and businesses didn't see meaningful falls in provision of services.

The four-year trial led to 86 per cent of Icelandic workers moving to permanent contracts with shorter hours.

In the UK, the pandemic has meant that lots of people have been working from home for the last 12-18 months.

Research from Aviva shows that many workers say they have more flexibility with their working hours now compared to before the coronavirus lockdowns.

The same study found that 45 to 54 year olds reported the longest hours per week (on average 32 hours), across all full and part time employees.

Almost half of this group said they would be willing to work between 9-12 hours a day to secure an extended and more relaxed weekend.

Alistair McQueen, Head of Savings and Retirement at Aviva said: “Of all ages, greater flexibility in mid-life may carry the greatest reward for the individual and their employer.

"This is a fast growing employee population, and one that is under specific strain. Investing in them today will reap reward tomorrow."

A poll by office designers MoreySmith found that one in four British employees want a four-day working week to become the norm, even if it means a pay cut.

The findings of the poll suggest that the nine-to-five may become a thing of the past as two thirds (66%) of employees said flexible start times will be an important factor in their decision to return to the office.

Nearly two thirds of the British public, including 55% of Conservative voters, want Boris Johnson to pilot a four-day working week with no loss of pay for workers.

A new poll by Survation, found that 64% of Brits would support a four-day week across the UK with only 13% opposed to the idea.

The survey, which was commissioned by the 4 Day Week Campaign, comes after Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement that the Scottish Government will launch a pilot of the four-day week in Scotland to find out if it would improve work-life balance.

Support in the UK has grown since the Covid pandemic after global giant Unilever announced a year-long trial and the Governments of Spain and Scotland announced national level pilot schemes.

Numerous studies have shown that a four-day week with no loss of pay is achievable through greater productivity. When Microsoft in Japan trialled it in 2019, productivity jumped by 40%.

Joe Ryle, a campaigner with the 4 Day Week Campaign, said: “The time has come to wave goodbye to the outdated 9-5, 5 days a week model and it’s in nobody’s interests to go back to the old ways of working after the pandemic.

“Spain and Scotland have both recognised that the four-day week represents the future when it comes to changing working patterns and Boris Johnson should follow their lead.”

Four-day working week hailed an ‘overwhelming success’ that should be tried in UK after biggest-ever trial in Iceland.

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