Whats Going On Here?
A study has found that introducing a four-day working week could significantly reduce carbon emissions in the UK and help the country reach its climate targets. This is not a new idea but with countries finding their way beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems now could be the perfect time to reconsider the way we think about work.
What Does This Mean?
The study examined how one less working day each week would result in a reduction of commuting and fewer open office hours, along with more time for low-carbon activities.
It showed that shifting to a four-day week could shrink the UK’s carbon footprint by 127 million tonnes per year by 2025, or 21.3% – that’s equivalent to taking a whopping 27 million cars off the road.
Other countries are already considering this new approach as attention shifts beyond COVID-19 back to the climate crisis. Spain and Scotland have already introduced small-scale trials, and companies like Unilever are trialing four-day weeks with their employees in New Zealand.
Why Should We Care?
In the first four months of the pandemic, carbon emissions fell by 17%, but unfortunately, they are rising again. Looking beyond the pandemic there is an opportunity for a climate-friendly recovery and implementing four-day weeks could play an important role.
And it turns out that four-day working weeks aren’t just good for the planet, they are also good for you. There’s evidence that shorter working weeks can increase your productivity and give your mental health a boost. Plus there’s the added bonus of having more time to do the things you love!
If you want to trial a four-day working week, here’s a useful article to help you to pitch this idea to your boss.
Regardless of whether you work one day or five, here are some great ways to reduce your work-related carbon footprint:
🌎 Take public transport, your bike or walk to work
🌎 Opt to fly less, making the most of video calling to connect with colleagues
🌎 Prep your lunch at home to avoid packaging waste
🌎 Be energy conscious at home and work, making the most of natural light and switching lights off at the end of the workday