A report published on Thursday said that moving to a four-day work week could cut UK greenhouse gas emissions by a quarter in four years.
The study, conducted by Platform researchers for 4DayWeek, states that going from a five-day week to one week in four, without losing a salary, “could reduce UK carbon emissions by 127 million tons per year through 2025” That’s 21.3%.
This, he says, goes beyond the entire carbon footprint of Switzerland. The proposal comes at a time when the successive isolations against the Coronavirus, with many people working from home, are generating greater interest in work flexibility and family reconciliation. Some companies have already tested the four week weeks.
“I think that’s something we can all support!” The UK non-governmental organization Greenpeace tweeted in response to the report, while Green Party MP Caroline Lucas celebrated “an idea whose time has come.”
The report claims that a shorter week represents energy savings due to less office equipment use and fewer transportation trips.
He adds that a shorter schedule will lead to a healthier lifestyle, with less consumption of fast food and less need for medical care, thus reducing the use of energy-saving equipment. “By dedicating a day of the week to non-work-related activities, you also have more mental space,” he explains.
Currently, the average workweek in the UK is 42.5 hours, says 4Day Week, which is looking at a cut to 32 hours in 2025.
In Scotland, the separatist Scottish National Party, which rules the region, is considering moving to the four-day work week. Its leader, Nicola Sturgeon, argues that this would promote a better balance between career and personal life, and a higher level of employment.
His election program promised to regional legislatures in early May to create a fund of 100 million pounds ($ 141 million) to help companies wanting to put the measure into action.
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