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Benefits found in four day work week

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The concept of a four day work week is catching on with researchers revealing the health benefits of spending fewer hours on the clock.

New findings show the rat race we call work doesn't need to be a five day marathon. Just ask George Coles who dropped a day.

 "It's like liberty. It's like, you know, liberation of time," he said.

His employer, mobile game developer Hutch, was one of 61 UK companies that took part in a four day work week experiment for six months. We met George when the study began in July of 2022 - and he said, "It's been a struggle at times to get on top of everything and stay on top of everything."

Eight months later, Coles said his mental health has improved. 

"I'm absolutely ecstatic where I am at the moment mentally," he said.

The report by the University of Cambridge found 71% of employees felt less burnout, saw a 39% decline in stress, and a 65% reduction in sick days. 

 "It's no surprise that when you give people a 50% increase in the weekend, they're going to enjoy that," said Professor Brendan Burchell, lead researcher on the project.

Hutch CEO Shaun Rutland noticed a change in his employees. 

"I saw a quote from someone who said it helped me with my marriage, it helped me with my kids. I feel so much better having this time for me," said Rutland.

When we first met Rutland, he worried fewer hours might hurt the bottom line, but not now.

"We did the trial over six months so the two quarters in that six months we saw growth, which we were very excited by," Rutland said.

For Hutch, four days is here to stay. 

 "If I was to ever start a business again, I think I would start with a four day work week," Rutland said.

 Coles says there's not a chance he will go back to five days. 

 "We shouldn't be living to work, we should be working to live," he said.

Many agree - that an extra day off leads to a more fulfilling and profitable life.

Fifty six of the 61 British companies that participated in the study are hooked on the four-day concept and say they will not be returning to a five day work week. 

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