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13 August 2021, 11:28 | Updated: 13 August 2021, 11:31
We've all dreamed of a three day weekend, but it could be more than just an opportunity to recover from a heavy weekend, it could boost the economy
Masks, lateral flow tests, dobbing in the neighbours for having 'too many people' in their garden, banana bread... a lot has come out of the past 18 months.
But according to a new study, the coronavirus crisis and how we coped with lockdowns could be the impetus to change how we live and work forever - it could be the catalyst for officially giving Brits a four-day working week.
Giving shoppers 20 per cent more free time every week would boost high street sales by an estimated £58 billion as it would give people more time to shop, and also to indulge in hobbies, gardening and DIY projects - which require them to buy tools and other bits of kit.
The e-commerce experts at international delivery service ParcelHero also said a shorter week would help staff recruitment by making jobs more attractive.
Consumer research boss David Jinks told The Mirror: "Lockdowns have made us all re-evaluate our work-life balance and we’ve seen most businesses can survive without the traditional 9-5, five-day week.
"It could boost key areas such as hospitality that have been hardest hit by the pandemic."
A poll by Survation showed that 64 per cent of voters would back four-day working if there was no loss of pay.
Pilot schemes have already ran in Iceland, Spain and Norway, and when Microsoft trialled a four-day working week in Japan they found a 40 per cent increase in productivity.
In Scotland, the Scottish government is investing £10million in a fund to help businesses decide if a shorter week would work for them.
More encouraging statistics came from a survey of business owners, chief executives, and finance officers which showed 47 per cent are "very open" to a shortened working week and 32 per cent are "quite open".
The main concern lies around a drop in profits and increase in outgoings if wages were to stay the same as if they were being paid for five days of work, but it is argued that this would be offset by an increase in productivity.
Environmental campaigners Platform London calculated that shifting to a four-day week would reduce the UK’s carbon footprint by 21.3 per cent in four years, so it would be good for the planet and the economy.