One of the major flagship policies for the Labour party in the 2019 general election was the introduction of a four-day work week. More specifically, a 32-hour week, bringing flexible working to the forefront in the media.
A 2017 UK government report titled ‘Thriving at Work: a review of mental health and employers’ found that 300,000 people lose their jobs each year due to dealing with long-term mental health problems. In fact, the cost of poor mental health to the economy was estimated to be around £74 billion to £99 billion annually.
Flexible work options have been proven to reduce stress for workers, especially new parents, and help keep them in the workforce. Overall, this arrangement makes for happier, less stressed out workers who require less sick leave and healthcare.
Research from Henley Business School also revealed that a four-day work week could save UK businesses nearly £104 billion annually. It found that surveyed businesses saw increased productivity, happiness and reduction in sick leave when switching to a four-day work week on full pay.
Now, the demand for flexible working continues to grow as employees increasingly prioritize their mental health, well-being and work-life balance.
In turn, organizations who embrace this trend will also see improved productivity, as well as the ability to attract and retain the best talent.