The fast advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools could dramatically change work culture in the U.K.
According to a recent report published by the think tank Autonomy, 28% of the U.K. workforce is predicted to transition to a 32-hour work week by 2033 — due to AI’s growing influence on workflows and productivity.
The major change in work scheduling is estimated to be more pronounced in certain areas within the U.K. The data, which was recently analyzed in an article published by The Independent, suggests that the City of London, Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster, Elmbridge, Richmond upon Thames, Wandsworth, St Albans, and Wokingham all hold a high proportion of workers that are more likely to switch to a four-day workweek.
The move towards a four-day work week is not just a matter of convenience or employee preference. It’s rooted in the potential of AI software and tools to boost employee productivity, according to the report.
The trend to implement a shorter work schedule is also seen by Autonomy as a viable way to reduce work-related mental and physical illnesses by increasing leisure time for employees.
The widespread adoption of a four-day workweek by the U.K. could influence a reimagining of work-life balance globally. For the proponents of a four-day workweek, efficiency and productivity are achieved not by working longer hours but through smarter, technology-driven methods — like generative AI tools.
There already has been a successful four-day work week trial in the U.K. that caught the attention of advocates around the world. Last year, 61 companies representing nearly 3,000 employees took part in a pilot program organized by the advocacy group 4 Day Work Week Global. The results were positive. According to The Washington Post, 56 out of the 61 companies that took part in the trial said they would continue to implement four-day workweeks after the pilot ended.
AI’s inclusion into the workforce will influence how we view productivity and work-life balance, and studies like those from Autonomy paint a future where work will be more focused on quality and efficiency and less worried about the quantity of actual hours spent.