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New research shows benefits linked to four day work week

New research shows benefits linked to four day work week
New research shows benefits linked to four day work week 02:14

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- New research shows health benefits linked to a four-day workweek.

Spending fewer hours working reduces stress levels dramatically for most people. The new study shows that mental health advantages did not lower productivity.

Whether you work at City Hall, the Cherry Hill Mall, or SEPTA, spending fewer hours on the job is a popular idea.

92% of Americans want a four-day work week, according to a recent survey. Nearly three-quarters believe they can maintain the same workload but may have to work longer hours to do it.

Dozens of companies are now trying out four-day workweeks.

"It's like liberty," studio manager George Coles said. "It's like you know liberation of time."

Coles works for a company in the UK among 61 who tested a four-day workweek experiment for six months.

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

The study from the University of Cambridge found 71% of employees felt less burnout, 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, that they're going to enjoy that," the University of Cambridge Professor Brendan Burchell said.

A CEO of one of the companies that tested a shorter work week 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," CEO Shaun Rutland said.

He says there wasn't a loss in productivity.

"We did the trial over six months so the two quarters in that six months we had growth," Rutland said. "If I was to ever start a business again, I think I would start with a four-day work week."

Many agree that an extra day off leads to a more fulfilling and profitable life. There is also growing interest among state legislatures and even congress to give employers a chance to try out a four-day workweek.

At least half a dozen states are considering legislation to make four-day workweeks more common.

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